Normally, I’m not big into shipping real people, but, for the original partners-in-crime, I’m willing to make an exception. Staples in the pop culture lexicon, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have become American icons with the way they lived, the way they died, and the way they loved. From the classic 1967 film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to the countless references sprinkled throughout music, television, and film, we continue to be captivated by the dangerous duo. My own personal fascination with Bonnie and Clyde was sparked by a short-lived musical named after them and loosely based on their lives.
Through bluesy ballads and hell-raising numbers, the musical paints the tale of two lost teens, who went looking for fame and found each other. Love at first sight, outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were two poor Texas kids, looking for a way to escape their Depression-era lives and the poverty that surrounded them. For them, there was only one way out: a murderous crime spree that spanned two years and almost two dozen states. In 1934, Bonnie and Clyde would go down together in a bloody ambush with police, putting an end to their reign of terror and securing their status as true-crime legends. (The show opens with them in the car shot and bloodied and ends with them in the same position very much alive and in love.) While the musical may take a lot of creative listen with the historical facts, it succeeds in capturing the the passionate love and complex connection that defined them in life and granted them infamy in death. Even though we all know how the story plays out, you can’t but root for Bonnie and Clyde to get a happily ever after.
Still, there is still something seriously romantic about finding that ride-or-die person you’d being willing to go down in a blaze of glory for. Bonnie and Clyde were never perfect, but their love story is the kind we all wish we could find. (Minus the dying in a police ambush part.)
“Someday, they’ll go down together,
they’ll bury them side by side.
To few it will be grief,
To the law a relief.
But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.”
~The Trail’s End by Bonnie Parker~