March 1, 2017

CARTERVILLE — It’s a musical based on crime and passion that will steal your heart and arrest your attention, producers of the latest John A. Logan College stage production say.

“Bonnie & Clyde The Musical” will debut at 10 a.m. March 10 in the College’s O’Neil Auditorium. There is also a 7 p.m. show on March 10 and March 11, and a 2 p.m. show March 12.

“I’ve been acting since I was four years old,” said Aubrianna Rathunde of Carbondale, a 22-year-old who plays the notorious outlaw Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde The Musical. “But this is my dream role. I love playing Bonnie and I fell in love with this musical.”

Bonnie went on a two-year crime spree with Clyde Barrow from 1932-1934 before the two were gunned down by authorities in Texas. Much has been written about the pair, which has resulted in a number of movies and this play, Rathunde explained.

“What do I think of Bonnie? What I think is that she was young and in love which caused her to have an unwavering loyalty to Clyde,” Rathunde said. “I think she went along with everything he asked because she loved him so much. This is the kind of character I have been studying to portray.”

At the time of the Great Depression when Bonnie and Clyde began their crime spree, the general attitude of Americans was against government. Bonnie and Clyde used this to their advantage, robbing banks and staying one step ahead of the law.

Brandyn McGhee of West Frankfort plays Clyde.

“Clyde goes through such a transformation,” McGhee said. “He went from petty thief to hardened criminal who took whatever he wanted. It’s been fun to play this type of character.”

McGhee, 29, has been involved in plays since he was a student at Frankfort Community High School.

Nathan Arnett is the musical’s director.

“This is an electrifying story of love, adventure, and crime,” Arnett said. “This is a story that during the Great Depression in the 1930s captured the attention of an entire country. We believe the musical, too, will capture the attention of everyone who attends.”

Bonnie & Clyde The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. Cindy Massie is the music director for the play. Massie taught choir and classroom music at Sesser-Valier High School for many years before retiring.

“I like this musical so much because it is unlike anything that has ever been done in Southern Illinois before,” Massie said. “This will be one of a kind.”

JALC students receive free admission with a student ID. There is a low cost matinee on March 10 at 10 a.m. Tickets to all other performances are $15 each to the general public. Tickets are available at the box office by calling 618-985-2828, Ext. 8287 or online at