Bucks County Herald

Singers shine in Open Air Theatre’s “Bonnie & Clyde”

SUSAN S. YESKE



Mary Pomykacz as Bonnie Parker and Noah Barson as Clyde Barrow in the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre production of “Bonnie & Clyde.”

From the first notes sung on the stage of the Open Air Theatre in Titusville, N.J., it is obvious that the performers in “Bonnie & Clyde” are among the best singers found in local community theater.

The show, which continues this weekend in the outdoor amphitheater in Washington Crossing State Park, features a cast primarily of “DPAC Alumni,” older teens and adults who have participated in classes or shows with the Downtown Performing Arts Center in Lambertville, N.J.

Some are returning from college or farther afield to take part in this annual gathering of some of the center’s best and brightest.

One by one, the performers take the stage to sing with heart and empathy in the roles of some of our nation’s most notorious criminals, the lawmen who pursued them and the families who supported them.

Starring in the title roles are Mary Pomykacz as Bonnie and Noah Barson as Clyde. Both have impressive voices as well as acting talents that allow them to embrace the personalities of the tormented duo. Pomykacz is impressive in her solos, “How ‘Bout a Dance” and “Dyin’ Ain’t so Bad,” and her duet with the equally impressive Adrianna Marino, who portrays sister-in-law Blanche Barrow.

Barson, whose brother Jeremy also performs well in the role of “Preacher,” is especially impressive in the role of Clyde. His performance ratchets between adrenaline highs when he is stealing and shooting, to the agony of prison and the pain that propels him to escape.
“Bonnie & Clyde” is told as a love story, albeit a violent one. The show is a good choice for this group, with plenty of songs to showcase the wealth of talents that cross the stage.

Also impressive performing as the title couple are the actors who take on the roles of their younger selves, Cameron Flurry as young Bonnie and Daniel and Sebastian Proulx as young Clyde. All have fine singing voices and good stage presence.

Tyler McClellan also does a fine job singing and acting as Clyde’s brother Buck, who can’t break away from his brother’s criminal life, even when he has a chance to go straight. Marino, who plays his wife, gets double kudos for her performance as well as choreography duties for the show.

The show is directed by Jordan Brennan, who once again displays his skills at helming a difficult production and making it look smooth and simple.

“Bonnie & Clyde” has some violence, probably on the level of a PG13 movie. The hail of gunfire that kills the couple is not shown, but is implied using theatrical devices. The set is spare, using boarded up windows and doors to imply the terrible losses of the Great Depression.

In the end, the show’s great draw is the talents of the performers and Brennan’s ability to showcase them. Like all Open Air Theatre productions, it’s also apparent that the performers are having a great time they want to share with the audience.

For tickets and information, visit dpacatoat.com.

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