From now until opening night on Nov. 5, the Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “Bonnie and Clyde.”
In today’s story, we meet Molly Grace of Brighton, a blog writer who plays Blanche in the show.
The Community Theatre of Howell is back on the big stage in November with the musical “Bonnie and Clyde.”
A Tony-nominated musical, “Bonnie and Clyde” is the alluring “behind-the-headlines” story of the love, adventure and crimes that captured the attention of an entire nation. Featuring blues, gospel and rockabilly music, this thrilling musical follows Bonnie and Clyde’s desperate pursuit of their dreams as their inevitable end draws near.
The show is directed by Luke Daniels, with Amanda Daniels as assistant director. The producers are Kim Carnahan and Linda Peasley; Lynda Bednarczyk is the stage manager; Rick Spangler is tech director; David Anderson is the vocal director; Lottie Moorehouse is the choreographer; and Dawn Eldred is doing costumes.
How did you become involved with CTH?
I played Chava in “Fiddler on the Roof” at CTH a few years ago. I was in college at the time and really wanted to be in a show again (I did theatre throughout high school), so I searched online for local auditions and CTH popped up. That’s actually how I met my boyfriend, who’s playing Ted in “Bonnie and Clyde.”
What are some memorable past roles and shows, either with CTH or other groups?
I got to play Abby, one of the murderous little old ladies, when my high school did “Arsenic and Old Lace.” It’s such a fun role and show.
Most people don’t think of musical theater when they think of “Bonnie and Clyde.” What can the audience expect with this show?
It’s a show that’s incredibly apropos for the current moment we’re in. Bonnie and Clyde became folk heroes in part because our country was in a moment of severe inequality and economic despair. People were angry, and to see this couple take their destiny into their own hands and stick it to the institutions that were failing everybody felt empowering to watch, I think.
That element is very present in this show, and a part of what makes it so interesting to watch – especially as a musical, where you get to experience those emotional highs and lows along with the characters though the music.
What do you like about your role?
Everybody knows about Bonnie and Clyde but not a lot of people know about Blanche and Buck, who were real people who really really loved each other in ways that I don’t think the two main characters of this show were totally capable of.
Buck really did go back to prison because Blanche wanted him to, and Blanche followed him into a life of crime even though she was terrified it would ultimately mean losing him.
Blanche is just an awesome, tough, funny lady. My favorite anecdote about her is that when she was asked about her portrayal in the 1967 Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway movie, she complained that they made her look “like a screaming horse’s ass.”
How does it feel being back in the theater after such a long break?
I haven’t been in a show in several years, so it’s been a long break for me even without COVID. But being stuck at home for over a year has definitely contributed to the jitteriness I’m feeling now. I feel like I’m still just re-learning how to interact with friends and co-workers after a year and a half of video chatting, so being back up on stage and performing in front of people is a little intimidating, to say the least.
The Community Theatre of Howell is presenting the music, “Bonnie and Clyde” at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell. Shows are Nov. 5-6 and 13-14, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, available by clicking here.