Robbery, Murder, Mayhem and a Love Story

'Bonnie & Clyde: The Two-Person, Six Gun Musical' shows the human side of the infamous duo.

Sarah Bakhtiari and Theresa Waldrop
April 27, 2011

Everybody knows the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow: a felonious couple who traveled the nation to mercilously kill and steal money and cars. 

What most people don't know is the emotional side of the two lovers' lives: the affection, the heartbreak, the romance. 

Opening tonight at ART Station, "Bonnie & Clyde: The Two Person, Six Gun Musical" portrays the humanness of the rogue couple. When watching the performance, it's easy to forget that they're menacing thieves who don't care about the world, because their romantic relationship, hopes and dreams shine through more than everything else. 

The performance at ART Station starts with Clyde meeting Bonnie for the first time in Texas in 1932, with Bonnie as a waitress and Clyde stealing small items just to get by. That feeling of connection, two twenty-somethings falling for one another, is immediately identified by viewers, and the production's sole actors, Anna Kimmel and Doug Graham, are nothing but convincing as passionate lovers. 

Their relationship blossoms throughout the musical, from theft to theft and state to state. They bicker and fight, kiss and make up, and experience everything a regular couple in love experiences, aside from the jail time and crime. The plot only gets darker and more intense as the performance progresses, and their relationship and lives get more problematic with each robbery, murder and newspaper article.

ART Station's portrayal of "Bonnie & Clyde" follows the true events and personalities of  the real Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie is a girly type who keeps a pet rabbit, Sunny Boy, hardly ever shoots a gun -- and at one point complains, during a lively and wonderfully performed chase scene, that the bullets are ugly. She dreams of  a "fancy car to drive down Main Street" in Oklahoma, while Clyde is always (and sincerely) promising her that some day he'll give that to her. 

"It's not the folklore," said David Thomas, ART Station's artistic director and founder, at this week's Lunchtime at ART Station.  "The reason I chose this production is it's the real story." 

The lyrics, live pianist and strong vocal talents of Kimmel and Graham add depth and intensity to the characters' emotions.

Kimmel grew up in Avondale Estates and is a graduate of Elon University. Graham graduated from Drake University in Iowa and came to the Atlanta area for an apprenticeship at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern. 

The minimalist set designed by Michael Hidalgo is pure genius: Strips of rugged material hang from the ceiling in thee different colors, and depending on the scene, are symbolic of jail bars or the forest where the couple spend time hiding out. 

The musical was written by Will Pomerantz and Andrew Philip Herron. The music was composed by Andrew Philip Herron with lyrics by Doug Ritchie and Andrew Philip Herron.

Audiences can watch "Bonnie & Clyde: The Two Person Six Gun Musical" at ART Station on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. The performances run from April 27 to May 15. For more information and to order tickets, visit the "Bonnie & Clyde" page on the ART Station website here

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