NEPA Scene Staff

‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Broadway musical hits Act Out Theatre in Dunmore May 17-26

‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Broadway musical hits Act Out Theatre in Dunmore May 17-26
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From a press release:

Act Out Theatre Group is taking on two of America’s most notorious outlaws in the Broadway musical “Bonnie & Clyde,” running from Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 26 in Dunmore.

At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America’s most renowned folk heroes and Texas law enforcement’s worst nightmares.

The young cast features actors alternating roles. Nichole Conrad (Dallas) and Molly Butler (Dunmore) portray Bonnie; Rocco Pugliese (Wilkes-Barre Twp.) and John Toussaint Jr. (Dallas) portray Clyde; Chris Berbano (Plains Twp.) alternates the roles of Ted and Buck with Pugliese and Toussaint, respectively; and Alana Simrell (Taylor) and Maia Bagusky (Hanover Twp.) portray Blanche.

The cast also includes Sarah Rose Pugliese (Wilkes-Barre Twp.), Andrew Simmers (Kingston), Frank Carey (Dunmore), Lily Marie Smith (Blakely), Donovan McCaskill (West Pittston), Emily Carey (Dunmore), Milana Snyder (Madison Twp.), Caelan Baden (Taylor), Jarod Engle (Wilkes-Barre), and Marina Rinkunas (Clarks Summit). Rocco and Sarah Pugliese are siblings, while Frank and Emily Carey are father and a daughter.

Butler describes the emotional complexity of Bonnie as one of the most challenging aspects of the role.

“I think Bonnie is different from any other part I’ve played because she feels all of her emotions very strongly. She goes through such an emotional journey throughout the show and it’s pretty taxing on me,” Butler said. “It’s definitely not easy to pull all of that out of me, but it’s also so fun.”

Conrad, who also plays Bonnie, agrees.

“Her range of emotions are very wide, and they switch at the drop of a hat. I’ve also never portrayed a character that was a real person and not just a fictional character in a fictional story.”

Dan Pittman, who is also the theatre’s artistic director, directs the show. The Plymouth resident designed the stage to create an immersive environment for the audience and cast. The actors perform all around the audience, creating an intimate environment.

John Toussaint Jr. and Nichol Conrad play
the title roles in ‘Bonnie & Clyde.’

Pittman is assisted by Sam Lipperini of Scranton.

“The story of Bonnie and Clyde is timeless. People always do crazy things for love, so I definitely think the story of this couple will continue being told for years to come,” Lipperini said.

“Since we’ve started working on this production, I’ve done a lot more research into the story of Bonnie and Clyde. There is so much more to these people than just a few outlaws in love, so I genuinely feel that this story is one that will never not be interesting.”

As one of the moments of comic relief in the show, Bagusky describes her character Blanche as “an instigator.”

“She is, in my opinion, the one who pushes the story along,” Bagusky said. “She is definitely one of the various reasons Bonnie and Clyde end up getting caught. … Throughout the show, she gives many ‘one-liners’ and is always first to offer her opinion, especially when you aren’t looking for it.”

According to Pittman, the cast has actors from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, including two NEPA Sings contestants: John Toussaint Jr. and Marina Rinkunas (2019 runner-up).

“People should see this show because it’s really just an amazing show. It’s life-changing,” Toussaint said. “It teaches you, entertains you, and plays with all of your emotions at once to form a beautiful work of art about two of the biggest criminals in our country’s history.”

“Bonnie & Clyde” runs on the Act Out stage (150 E. Grove St., Dunmore) from May 17 through May 26, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets for adults are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets for students and seniors are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Advance tickets are on sale now at actouttheatre.com. Parental discretion is advised for children under 12. Live gun shot effects are used in the production.

The theatre is also holding a “Not Just Mothers” Mother’s Day Tea on Saturday, May 18, a tea party to celebrate mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, aunts, and everyone in between with food, a photo booth, contests, and more. Food includes mini sandwiches, assorted hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and “mocktails.”

Reserved tickets are $15 (an adult and one child); each additional ticket is $5 a person. Tickets are $10 a person at the door. Baskets and a portrait station are available for an additional cost. Tickets can be purchased now via TicketLeap or by e-mailing actouttheatre1@gmail.com.

The alternating cast of ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ gathers for a group photo.