skip to Main Content
Bonnie & Clyde The Musical

Bonnie & Clyde The Musical: From Broadway to the London Stage

Dive into the captivating world of the Bonnie & Clyde the Musical, where the infamous love story of America’s most renowned outlaws is transformed into a dynamic theatrical adventure.

With a unique blend of blues, gospel, and rockabilly tunes, this musical takes audiences on a journey through Bonnie and Clyde’s meteoric rise to fame and their fateful end.

Discover the origins of this gripping musical, its brush with Broadway, and why its tale of romance and rebellion continues to resonate with audiences everywhere.

clyde barrow bonnie and clyde musical

The Birth of an Outlaw Romance

Frank Wildhorn and Don Black gave birth to the Bonnie & Clyde Musical after a significant collaboration. Their original intention around 2001 or 2002 was to create a song cycle, inspired by the infamous duo’s tale. Their vision soon expanded into a comprehensive musical, complete with a diverse and non-traditional score that masterfully blended rockabilly, blues, and gospel elements.

The result? An electrifying story that brought the fame obsessed Texas outlaws to life on stage!

San Diego Premiere (2009)

The captivating saga of Bonnie and Clyde made its debut in November 2009. The musical premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, directed by the talented Jeff Calhoun. Sixteen songs, arranged, orchestrated, and supervised by John McDaniel, set the stage for the epic tale of these two small town kids turned criminals. As the story unfolds, the audience is eagerly anticipating Act II, where the duo’s adventures continue to escalate.

The production won five major San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards in 2009, paving the way for its journey to Broadway.

Journey to Broadway (2010-2011)

After making waves in Sarasota, Florida, Bonnie & Clyde ascended to the Broadway stage in 2011. Despite the original Broadway cast recording selling tickets for shows extending into June 2012, the production closed after 36 performances due to slow ticket sales.

bonnie and clyde the musical

The Story of Bonnie & Clyde

The musical commences with a chilling scene, showcasing Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow deceased in their car, a grim premonition of their notorious demise. We’re taken back to Bonnie’s humble beginnings as a diner waitress with dreams of cinematic fame, and young Clyde’s aspirations to be as notorious as Billy the Kid or Al Capone. Their fateful meeting occurs when Clyde, fresh from a prison escape, fixes Bonnie’s car, sparking a connection that would change their lives forever. As Clyde quickly whisks Bonnie away, their infamous journey begins.

The musical adeptly narrates Bonnie and Clyde’s story, including:

  • Their disenchantment with their ordinary lives, which convinces Bonnie to seek a change
  • Their plunge into crime fuelled by a mutual desire for escape
  • Their eventual downfall at the hands of law enforcement

Their story serves as a stark reminder of the desperate lengths people will go for love and freedom.

bonnie and clyde the musical

Characters That Steal Hearts

Prior to becoming renowned folk heroes in America, Bonnie and Clyde were merely two ordinary individuals harbouring extraordinary dreams. Bonnie, played as ambitious and stubborn, longs for a legacy, while Clyde, a charming and bold small-town boy, dreams of notoriety. Their shared dreams create a powerful bond that fuels their journey into crime.

But Bonnie and Clyde aren’t the only characters who steal hearts in this musical. Clyde’s brother, Buck Barrow, is torn between his loyalty to his brother and his wife, Blanche’s, disapproval of their criminal activities. Blanche, a character of devout and honourable values, stands as a stark contrast to the outlaw couple, fighting against their criminal activities with every breath.

A Soundtrack for Outlaws

The musical transports you to Depression-era West Texas through its compelling soundtrack, a fusion of Texas blues, ragtime, and jazz. The opening number, “Picture Show,” sets the stage for the notorious duo’s future, while “How ‘Bout a Dance” showcases Bonnie’s aspirations and “Raise a Little Hell” captures Clyde’s rebellious spirit.

The duo’s desire to be remembered is beautifully expressed in “This World Will Remember Us,” and they confront their fateful decisions in “Too Late to Turn Back Now.” “Made in America” reflects the societal backdrop, and Bonnie’s contemplation of life and legacy is woven into “Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad.” In Act II, Bonnie and Clyde’s journey continues, leading to an emotionally charged finale as the musical concludes with Clyde joining Bonnie in a reprise of “Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad.”

Songs Not on the Original Broadway Cast Recording

The journey of the musical extended beyond the original Broadway cast recording. New songs like “This World Will Remember Us,” “What Was Good Enough For You,” and “You’re Goin’ Back to Jail” were added in post-Broadway productions, adding more depth to the characters and story.

bonnie clyde the musical

Staging the Legend

The Bonnie & Clyde Musical has swept across the globe, dazzling audiences in diverse productions worldwide. After its initial concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, subsequent West End productions took place at the Arts Theatre and Garrick Theatre in London, extended multiple times due to popular demand.

In the West End renditions, Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage took on the roles of Bonnie and Clyde, bringing to life the notorious outlaws with riveting performances. Directed by Nick Winston, the Bonnie & Clyde UK tour is currently underway, with shows captivating audiences across the UK and Ireland, reflecting the enduring popularity of this musical and the legendary Bonnie and Clyde duo.

bonnie and clyde the musical

Critical Reception and Legacy

With successful staging’s in:

  • Tokyo
  • Seoul
  • Sydney
  • Nagoya
  • Sao Paulo

Bonnie & Clyde has captivated audiences worldwide. Following an Off-West End production in 2017 and West End concerts in 2022, a full West End production opened in April 2022 and was extended due to its popularity.

The musical’s success is not just popular but also critical. The West End production received the What’sOnStage Award for Best New Musical in 2023, and a West End Cast Recording was released in July 2023, further contributing to the musical’s legacy.

bonnie and clyde the musical

Final Thoughts

From its conception by Frank Wildhorn and Don Black to its various stage productions worldwide, the Bonnie & Clyde Musical has proven to be a thrilling interpretation of one of history’s most notorious outlaw couples. The musical masterfully blends rockabilly, blues, and gospel to craft a soundtrack that captures the essence of Bonnie and Clyde’s journey from ordinary small-town kids to infamous outlaws.

The musical’s success, both popular and critical, showcases the enduring appeal of Bonnie and Clyde’s story. With a UK tour set to begin in 2024, it’s clear that the legacy of Bonnie & Clyde continues to captivate audiences worldwide, a testament to the timeless allure of their rebellious love story.

bonnie and clyde the musical


Is Bonnie and Clyde a good musical?

Yes, Bonnie and Clyde is a good musical with complex themes and impressive songs that make it worth watching. Check it out!

What is the storyline of the musical Bonnie and Clyde?

The musical Bonnie and Clyde tells the story of young lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s thrilling but destructive adventures, involving robbery, murder, and a life on the run during the Great Depression. Their fame grows even as their inevitable end draws nearer.

Who created the Bonnie & Clyde Musical?

The Bonnie & Clyde Musical was created by Frank Wildhorn and Don Black.

How long is the Bonnie & Clyde Musical?

The Bonnie & Clyde Musical typically runs for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including an intermission.

Who are the main characters in the Bonnie & Clyde Musical?

The main characters are Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the infamous outlaw couple. Other significant characters include Clyde’s brother Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche.

Can I listen to the Bonnie & Clyde Musical soundtrack online?

Yes, the soundtrack for the Bonnie & Clyde Musical is available on various streaming platforms, including the original Broadway cast recording and the West End cast recording.

Has the Bonnie & Clyde Musical won any awards?

Yes, the musical has won awards, including the What’sOnStage Award for Best New Musical in 2023.

Are there any age restrictions for the Bonnie & Clyde Musical?

The Bonnie & Clyde Musical is typically recommended for audiences aged 12 and older due to its mature themes and scenes depicting violence and crime.

Holly Smith

I Love Musical Theatre and made the West End World Website To Share My Experiences, Reviews & Theatre News.