Bonnie and Clyde, which concludes its smash run at the Asolo Rep next weekend, is scheduled to open on Broadway in August. But one of its stars is getting a head start.
Laura Osnes, who plays Bonnie, will be performing in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Anything Goes in April. She has the second female lead in the Cole Porter musical, and will share the stage with Sutton Foster and Joel Grey. It won't be the first Broadway appearance for Osnes, who has performed previously in South Pacific and Grease.
A fellow cast member broke the news about Osnes (beating the Asolo press department by a day) during a talkback with audience members following a performance last week. Osnes, Jeremy Jordan (Clyde) and a half dozen other actors sat on the edge of the stage and answered questions from a crowd of about 60 who had stayed. Most people didn't really have questions, but instead wanted to tell the cast how thrilled they were with the production.
I felt largely the same way after this, my second viewing. I liked the Frank Wildhorn music even more than before, and I couldn't find a weak spot in the large cast. But I still think the show needs some work if it is to succeed on Broadway. The second act loses momentum, despite the fact the doomed couple is hurtling toward its tragic end. And I just wasn't as emotionally affected by their story as I wanted to be.
During the talkback, several actors mentioned how much the show has changed since the first production at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. "In the previous production, I had a song," lamented a grinning Wayne Duvall, who played the sheriff. So I'm sure the creative team will do some further tinkering.
In fact, they admitted as much during an earlier talkback a few weeks ago. Director Jeff Calhoun and book writer Ivan Menchell asked audience members if the show was too long, and if so, what should be cut.
Several audience members shouted out ideas. But one woman in the back brought down the house when she yelled, "Don't cut the bathtub scene." In that scene, some audience members can catch a brief view of the handsome Jordan's bare backside as he emerges from the tub. "You must have been in the mezzanine," Asolo producing director Michael Edwards told the woman.
And speaking of New York theater, Sarasota resident Ellen Berman, whose Broadway producing credits include Enchanted April, just presented a private reading in Manhattan of Operation Epsilon, a new play by Alan Brody. The impressive cast for the reading included Michael Cerveris, a Tony Award winner for Sweeney Todd and Assassins. The play is based on the true story of 10 German nuclear scientists imprisoned in England near the end of World War II.