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Aurora Theatre regionally premieres "Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale"

IF YOU GO

• What: “Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale”

• When: March 16 through April 8, 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

• Where: Aurora Theatre, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville

• Cost: $25 to $35 per person

• For more information: Visit auroratheatre.com

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Girl meets boy. Boy steals money from girl. Girl joins boy to live a life of crime until he pays her back.

It doesn't sound like the typical romance, but it works for the two in Hunter Foster's "Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale," which is premiering for the first time on stage at the Aurora Theatre under the direction of Broadway's Lonnie Price and choreography of Josh Rhodes.

The play is set in Dallas, Texas, during tough economical times when people are losing their jobs, their homes and their hard-earned cash.

"I really like this play, because the acting is incredible and I like everything from the costumes to the setting, which is very realistic to the time period of the Great Depression," Marianne Circiu of Buford said.

Martha (played by Karen Howell) opens the scene with a group of townsfolk who are celebrating the memories of Bonnie Parker (Laura Floyd) and Clyde Barrow (J.C. Long), who were known as America's favorite thieving gangsters of that time.

The group flashes back to when Bonnie works for Martha at her diner, which she just had to sell to the bank for $300. That same day, Bonnie learns that her divorce is finalized.

Freshly unemployed and single, the young Parker realizes that "This Can't Be It" and that "there's something more than being hitched to an old man."

With dreams of being a movie star, Bonnie steals Martha's $300 to go to California and start her film career. Before she can make it out the door, Clyde -- who is "not a bandit, just an entrepreneur" -- is robbing her for the money she has just taken from the register.

Two days later, Bonnie tracks down Clyde surrounded by "honky-tonk women of ill repute" and before you know it, they're a team who robs banks with their trusty, loyal side-kick Ray Hamilton (Tony Larkin) -- he thinks he's a dog.

The gang runs from the law day and night from state to state, even landing themselves in Mexico for a short time, where they learn about "Loco Pero Vivo," a song men learn about love when south of the border.

Soon, they become more famous than movie stars and America is cheering them on, which gets J. Edgar Hoover (Bart Hansard) on their trail.

Throughout the musical, stories are told, relationships are made and there is more gun fire than at a shooting range, but it all comes together through the script and lyrics.

All of the music and lyrics were created by Rick Crom, an award-winning lyricist, composer, actor and comedian, which was presented by Aurora's associate producer, Ann-Carol Pence and her band.

"We love it," Maxine Cumins of Buford said while sitting with her husband. "Ann-Carol is doing an amazing job, like she always does. The casting is perfect because everyone is playing their parts so well. With this ensemble, there are only 'X' amount of people, so they have to do everything and they do such a great job."

Cumins wasn't the only one raving about the performance when she left the show.

"This is one of the best plays ever -- every aspect: the set, music, casting, acting, all of it," Bob Barrow of Duluth said. "The timing is key to the jokes too."

But don't get too comfortable in your seats with the laughter and good times -- Bonnie and Clyde may even try to rob you.

This play may not be suitable for children due to cussing and sexual content.

Play runs until April 8. Friday's show, Saturday's 8 p.m. show, March 25 and April 4 shows have all been sold out.