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Bonnie and Clyde Days brings the infamous couple to Pilot Point

Bonnie and Clyde Days brings the infamous couple to Pilot Point

The Denton community theater performs at the 50th anniversary of the Bonnie and Clyde festival in Pilot Pointe. The town is home to the bank rob scene in the movie Bonnei and Clyde. Kelsey Shoemaker

Bonnie and Clyde Days brings the infamous couple to Pilot Point
October 17
16:20 2017

A man and a woman stroll into a bank and not long after, the alarm blares. A police car drives up, and several officers hurry out of the vehicle to catch the culprits — it’s a scene that might be incredibly familiar to classic movie buffs.

“It’s Bonnie and Clyde,” an officer yells. “Bonnie and Clyde are robbing the bank!”

The Bonnie and Clyde Days Festival in Pilot Point was held Saturday to celebrate the filming of the famous bank robbery scene in the 1967 film Bonnie & ClydeThe highlight of the festival is the reenactment of the scene at the Farmers & Merchants Bank, where the actual scene was filmed.

“We celebrate the day Hollywood came to town,” Main Street director Lenette Cox said.

This year, the festival featured performances by a UNT Jazz Quartet and the Denton Community Theatre, which did a production of the musical Bonnie & Clyde in August.

Sienna Riehle, who organized the Denton Community Theatre’s performances for the festival, decided to bring the show to Bonnie and Clyde Days to contribute to the historical and fun festivities.

“The directors and I really wanted to highlight our show’s historic significance, as well as our incredibly talented cast and creative team,” Riehle said. “We found Bonnie and Clyde Days would be a great outlet for us even after the musical had closed.”

The 1967 film premiered at the Campus Theatre, so Riehle was excited to not only bring that story back to the theatre on its 50th anniversary, but to also share it with the community at the festival.

“By performing at the festival in Pilot Point, we gave our music director and members of the Bonnie & Clyde cast another opportunity to shine, spreading the word about DCT and the historic Campus Theatre, and giving back to the community,” Riehle said.

The Denton Community Theatre performed several scenes from the musical with songs such as “Picture Show,” “How ‘Bout a Dance” and “You Love Who You Love.”

“We were excited to perform some of the hit tunes from the musical, and we just hoped the festival goers were ready to have fun with us,” Riehle said. “We brought not only musical theatre, but jazz, gospel, country and rock ‘n’ roll, so there was definitely something for everyone.”

Bridgette Pineau, who played Blanche for the festival performance of Bonnie & Clyde, looked forward to using the musical to bring the stories of Bonnie and Clyde to life and transport guests back to the 1930s.

“Our performance preceded the reenactment of the bank robbery, so we were a good transition from typical festival activities such as pie eating contests,” Pineau said. “We also served as a good introduction to some of the stories behind Bonnie and Clyde, such as who they are and how the songs from the musical reflect that.”

The festival also provided a chance for the cast of Bonnie & Clyde to perform somewhere other than what they were used to — challenging them to move from the stage to the street.

“Performing at a festival is extremely different from performing on stage because we did not have the set and props to work with, but that just means we had to rely more on ourselves to get into character rather than relying on the environment,” Pineau said.

The Denton Community Theatre performers and festival attendees enjoyed the unique theme and atmosphere of Bonnie and Clyde Days and appreciated the entertaining focus on history.

“I think Bonnie and Clyde Days attracts a lot of history buffs, film buffs, families and people who want to get out and do something fun and unique without going all the way to Dallas or another larger city,” Riehle said. “It seems a lot like a themed version of a good old-fashioned county fair.”

Bonnie and Clyde Days began in 2010 and has become more and more popular throughout the years. Between locals and out-of-state visitors, thousands of people flock to the Pilot Point Town Square to be a part of the history and fun of the festival.

Bonnie and Clyde Days appeals to people from all over the country who have an interest in the history of the infamous duo and a desire to bask in the old-fashioned festivities.

“We just try to keep bringing [in] more and more people,” Cox said. “They come from all over the country. I’m always amazed to hear people from Kansas or Idaho saying they came all this way for the festival.”

Pilot Point native Christy Knight attends the festival every year with her family and loves the fun twist on history Bonnie and Clyde Days presents.

“My family and I always look forward to the Bonnie and Clyde Days Festival,” Knight said. “It’s fun for all of us, and my kids love watching the robbery reenactment.”

Featured Image: The Denton Community Theater performs at the 50th anniversary of the Bonnie and Clyde festival in Pilot Point. The town is home to the bank rob scene in the movie “Bonnie & Clyde.” Kelsey Shoemaker

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Ashlee Winters

Ashlee Winters

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