‘Bonnie and Clyde – A New Musical’ presents passion, crime and a wild ride

Photo by Stephanie Skolnik. The Downriver Actors Guild presents “Bonnie and Clyde – A New Musical” Oct. 14 to 29, with Taylor residents Bryan Aue (left) as Buck Barrow and Melanie Aue as Blanche Barrow, Kimberly Elliot of Canton Township as Bonnie Parker and Daniel Hazlett of Ann Arbor as Clyde Barrow. For tickets or more information, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

Photo by Stephanie Skolnik. The Downriver Actors Guild presents “Bonnie and Clyde – A New Musical” Oct. 14 to 29, with Taylor residents Bryan Aue (left) as Buck Barrow and Melanie Aue as Blanche Barrow, Kimberly Elliot of Canton Township as Bonnie Parker and Daniel Hazlett of Ann Arbor as Clyde Barrow. For tickets or more information, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

By SUE SUCHYTA

Passion, crime and a wild ride captures the story of Bonnie and Clyde, two notorious Depression-era criminals with a craving for fame whose saga steals the spotlight at the Downriver Actors Guild.

The show runs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, and 3 p.m. Oct. 16 and 23 at the Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle Ave. in Wyandotte.

Director Ron Baumanis said “Bonnie and Clyde” is one of his favorite musicals because it tells a very American tale and captures a passionate love affair.

“These two young foolish kids, born out of Depression-era desperation, found a way to escape their dust-dry existence and become folk heroes,” Baumanis said. “For a while, people followed their antics as if they were modern day Robin Hoods. They stole from banks and shops that had turned their backs on the American people as they foreclosed on houses and farms.”

He said it wasn’t until their shooting spree began that people saw them for what they really were – bank robbers and killers – dragging Buck and Blanche Barrow down along with them.

“One of the things I like most about this show, besides the incredible Frank Wildhorn score, is the way in which the story is told,” Baumanis said. “It starts out as a biography, told in flashback format, and by Act II, when the killing starts, the musical shifts almost entirely to focus on the love story. It shifts to an intimate look at what it must have been like for these two stupid kids as they hid, ran and struggled.”

Daniel Hazlett of Ann Arbor, who plays Clyde Barrow, said he often can’t decide whether the character should be hated or loved.

“You see Clyde abruptly jump from from tough guy gangster to sweet-talking Romeo and back again, a tension that only grows throughout the story,” Hazlett said. “I think that the tension between his good side and bad side takes the criminal and unexpectedly makes it into something far more relate-able and human.”

Ashley Gatesy of Westland, who plays Stella, said the musical gives audiences a better understanding of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

“This musical doesn’t romanticize them, but it definitely delves into why they went on this crime spree,” Gatesy said.

Colleen Stanley of Trenton, who play Cumie Barrow, Clyde’s mother, said she has always been fascinated by the glamour associated with the 1920s and 30s crime sprees.

“My grandmother was a teenager at the height of this era, (and) she was alive when Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down,” Stanley said. “The thought of being a part of this history, especially my grandmother’s history, inspired me.”

Melanie Aue of Taylor, who plays Blanche Barrow, said the music drew her into the show.

“The soundtrack is full of upbeat rock songs and heartbreaking ballads, and that’s what really sealed the deal for me,” Aue said.

She hopes audiences realize the impact Bonnie and Clyde had on everyone in their lives.

“It’s a beautiful and tragic love story with catastrophic consequences,” Aue said. “I hope audiences will take away an understanding of how complex this story is.”

Others in the cast include Kimmy Elliot of Canton Township as Bonnie Parker; Bryan Aue of Taylor as Buck Barrow; and Kevin Kaminski of Detroit as Ted Hinton.

Also in the show are Keagan Rodden of Southgate as Young Clyde; Taylor residents Amanda Aue as Eleanore and Ernie Delgado as the bank teller; and Wyandotte residents Chuck Bollman as Henry Barrow, Paige Wisniewski as Trish, Austin Charlebois as a deputy, and Jami Krause as Emma Parker.

Bethany Wagner of Ann Arbor plays a shopkeeper, with Elaina Primeau of Brownstown Township as Young Bonnie; Dee Morrison of Canton Township as Governor Ferguson; Tommy Koch of Grosse Ile Township as Sheriff Schmidt; Jeff Powers of New Boston as Cpt. Frank Hamer and other roles; and Nick Brown of Ypsilanti as the preacher.

Tickets are $16, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. For more information or to order, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

DAG AUDITIONS FOR ‘SCHOOL OF ROCK’ YOUTH PRODUCTION

Auditions for the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical “School of Rock,” for performers 11 to 18, and not yet graduated from high school, run 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 27 and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Downriver Actors Guild Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle Ave. in Wyandotte.

Production dates are Feb. 24 to 26 and March 3 to 5. Rehearsals run Saturday afternoon and one or two evenings a week from 6 to 8:15 p.m.

Bring a music CD or music for your electronic device without vocals to accompany your audition.

“School of Rock” is about a has been rock star who decides to take a job as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. He casts aside academics and creates a transforming, high energy, life-changing rock band.

For more information, go to downriveractorsguild.net.

For detailed audition information, and audition clips to prepare, go to: dropbox.com/sh/4378l3qeauptb31/AACR8FTU1Qu6XXszlhQ4vk3Fa?dl=0

‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ OFFERS WHIMSICAL FUN FOR ALL

Wayne State University’s undergraduate Bonstelle Theater presents “Alice in Wonderland” at 7 p.m. Oct. 7, 8, 14 and 15; 3 p.m. Oct. 8, 9, 15 and 16; and 10 a.m. student matinees Oct. 12 and 13 at the theater, 3424 Woodward in Detroit.

Directed by Lavinia Hart and Jill Dion, the show, based on the Lewis Carroll classic tale, follows Alice through the rabbit hole as she embarks on an extraordinary journey of discovery.

With each character she meets, Alice is asked who she is, mirroring the search for identity that many people face.

“Alice speaks to a broad spectrum of theater-goers,” Hart said. “It is my hope this bold and bright production will offer something for family members of all ages.”

For tickets or more information, call 313-577-2960 or go to theatreanddance.wayne.edu/theatre.

PGD, DSO PRESENT ‘MURDER AT THE COURTHOUSE’

“Murder at the Courthouse,” an original interactive play written and directed by Brian Townsend of Dearborn, takes over the 19th District Courthouse, 16077 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 as a fundraiser for the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra and Players Guild of Dearborn.

The show features Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. as the prosecutor, Ali Hammoud as the defender, and Dearborn City Council President Susan Dabaja as the judge.

In addition to helping solve the crime, guests will enjoy specialty drinks like the “Smoking Gun” and the “Silver Bullet,” dinner catered by Park Place Catering, and just desserts by Dearborn Sweets.

“‘Murder at the Courthouse’ is a unique and interactive opportunity,” Hammoud said. “I am looking forward to participating and helping to raise money in what should be a fun and entertaining evening.”

Tickets are $175 each, with a $300 benefactor level option. To order, call 313-565-2424 or go to dearbornsymphony.org.