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'Bonnie and Clyde' comes to City Hall

Sep. 20, 2013 @ 07:12 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington City Hall is going to be filled with the sounds of gunshots and rock 'n' roll this weekend and next.

Fifth Avenue Theater Company has revved up the getaway car and is roaring back to the Depression era when Bonnie and Clyde were on a spree and America was obsessed with those fun-loving criminals.

Starring theater veterans Alison Smith as Bonnie and Josh Jannotta as Clyde, "Bonnie and Clyde," the edgy rocking musical "Bonnie and Clyde," is set to run at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21 and Sept. 27-28 and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 22 and Sept. 29 at the Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium at Huntington City Hall.

The musical, in between guns blazing, fires up everything from rockabilly and country to swinging Big Band. All seats are $12. Call 304-696-5522 to reserve tickets or for more information. Discount prices are available for groups of 10 or more.

Director Eddie Harbert said they're excited to present the wild PG-13 musical that has guns blazing on stage, and begins with the infamous bank robbers and outlaws getting gunned down in their car, then proceeds with flashbacks of their wild romance and ride robbing banks after Bonnie's ill-attempt at becoming a Hollywood star.

"I don't think Huntington has seen such a musical," Harbert said. "There's lots of sex and violence although not as much violence as 'Jekyll and Hyde,' but there are gunshots that go off throughout it. It's historically intact but it really portrays the human side and in doing that you become very conflicted. You see how America felt about them at the time, how they were revered and about their love story."

Harbert said they've learned a ton about the couple who was hunted down and shot (Clyde was shot 53 times and Bonnie 51 times) with steel-tipped bullets by the authorities after they'd been on a more than two year crime spree killing 13 people across the west.

Props mistress, Pat Manis uncovered a letter Clyde had sent to Henry Ford thanking him personally for making such a fast car, which he had stolen as a getaway car.

"They were just that arrogant, and they were in love. Every picture they took they were touching each other," Harbert said. "They initially went across country to make her an MGM star and when that dream doesn't happen they decided to be really good at bank robbing. There's a really good chemistry between Josh and Allison and you feel bad for these people who you know toward the end and they are saying goodbye to their mothers and you see them as somebody's, children and they had family and they really did love each other ... It sort of follows the theme of 'Wicked' in that it explores what makes people wicked and where do you draw the line?"

Harbert said one of the things that really makes the musical, which has musical direction by Dustin Allen, is its diversity of songs and styles from rockabilly in tunes such as "The World Will Remember Me" and gospel-tinged songs such as, 'My Arms Are Always Open," country criers like "You Love Who You Love" and "Drive," which is a rock song.

Harbert said they've got some new folks working on this show including choreographer Robin Burns who has a studio in Milton, Allen, from over in Kentucky and such newcomers to Fifth Avenue as Joe and Christina Hill and their daughter Majesty.

Other actors in the cast include: Brandon Caldwell, Tina Haynes, Linda LeMaster, Betty Craddock, Zach Davis, Ethan Darby, Colby Jack Adkins, Courtney Parsley, Rebekah Prichard, Hannah Miller, Lilly Burns, Abby Manis, Logan Darby and the ensemble: Katie Jones, Isa McMullen, Naudia Cremeans, Candi Parsley and Jennifer Parsley.

It's a bird, it's a plane

First Stage Theatre Company is putting on the super hero musical, "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman" in October (it starts Oct. 11) and it is stirring up some publicity the new, old-fashioned way by rolling the 1978 action classic, "Superman," movie that starred Christopher Reeve.

The 143-minute, PG-rated film will be shown at Heritage Station on Saturday, Sept. 21. Gates will open at 7 p.m. Superman will be there to sign autographs. There will also be a concession stand, Superman merchandising, face painting and the 1978 Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie, which also stars Gene Hackman and Margot Kidder, will start on the big screen at dark. Cost is $3.

First Stage's production, "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman" will open on Friday, Oct. 11 at Huntington High School auditorium. The show runs at 7 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 18-19. Matinees are 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 20. Tickets are $12 and $10 for children under 12 and seniors. Superman will be flying as well as a few other characters.

First Stage has already cast the show. The main actors are: Superman/Clark Kent, Drew Edwards; Lois Lane, Meg Barber; Max Mencken, Salem Carlton; Sydney, Sarah Bryan; Jim Morgan, Ian Carlton; Abner Sedgwick, Chris Drown; and Madame Ling, Rileigh Smirl. The show is directed by Justin and Sydnee McElroy, choreographed by Mary Smirl and music director is Mark Smith.

For more info, go online at http://www.firststagetheatre.org/.

Tennessee Williams in the Valley

A new theater group, The Appalachian Artists Collective, is presenting "The Tennessee Williams Project," a collection of Tennessee Williams scenes including: "Talk to Me Like the Rain," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "This Property is Condemned" and "Summer and Smoke." Performances began Thursday at The Alban Arts and Conference Center and run at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21. Tickets are $20 and $10 for students and seniors.

What started as an acting exercise for Leah Turley and Evan Parker Alan Wilson developed into a non-linear performance examining romantic relationships in Tennessee Williams' work. Turley and Wilson play a combined eight characters across four locales. The abstract set is manipulated by the actors to represent a tiny New York apartment, a Gothic Southern mansion, a deserted railroad town and a summer evening under the stars. Similarly, all costume changes happen in scene and are performed by the actors.

Tickets will be available 30 minutes before each performance or reserve your tickets by calling 304-721-8896. For more information, visit AAC's Facebook Page www.facebook.com/AACTheatre.

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