Strange title for one of my sessions, but it had a strong impact on me.
Two weeks ago, while in previews, my dear friend Jeffrey Richards,(my first'boss' here in New York, who is this show's producer,and the guy who has produced most of what has been on Broadway over the last ten years), gave me a pair of tickets for his latest 'hit' BONNIE & CLYDE.
What affected me immediately, was the quality and strength of voice that the two leads,Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan possess. The standard has truly been raised here on Broadway regarding vocal prowess. The training and preparation that today's young stars receive has gotten greater and greater over the years. As a result it takes an awful lot more to compete today. But it is the love story that really penetrated with me.
The night before seeing this show I had watched a Mitch Bloom tv movie. Mitch was recruited to write a eulogy for a still vital rabbi. In investigating his life, Mitch came to know a black preacher who rose from the depths of the drug world to make a real difference. The part that got to me was showing the preacher as a child of poverty being told that "if you want something...take it!". This same doctrine was the determining factor in Clyde Barrow's life path. We take, get caught and eventually kill in the process. It makes me wonder with the economic crisis we now find ourselves in...what will be the result when the only way to get what you want is to 'take it!'
I am fearful of that, but I'm also thinking about what we can expect when our troops actually do make it home. I read somewhere that among those who have returned there is a suicide every 18 days. It has been traumatic for them. Hopefully we will respond to their heroism with the gratitude they so richly deserve. And if that isn't the message they receive, what will they turn to in order to survive today? Hopefully it won't be a repitiion of the criminal aspects of a war in which they have had to 'fight' and 'kill' for survival.
And as the mates of those returning soldiers, as well as those who have already chosen a life of crime, what do we do? This is where Bonnie & Clyde impacted me the most. Their raw passion for one another was so vividly portrayed that one is made to understand the loyalty of a mate who clearly sees the dangers ahead. As crazy as it seems one totally agrees with the choices made.
A musical that makes you think about the criminal mind and how it relates to where we are today is worthy in itself, but the fabulous music of Frank Wildhorn along with the performances of the entire cast as the love story is played out, result in keeping an audience spellbbound.
If I don't get back to you before the New Year...have a wonderful holiday season. Maybe take in a Broadway show...I would suggest Bonnie & Clyde.
Mimi Scott, Ph.d