Previously, Black and Wildhorn collaborated on Dracula, the Musical, which also had its world premiere in La Jolla. Wildhorn got in touch with Black about the possibility of writing a song cycle based on the story of Bonnie and Clyde. They released a demo of songs - five of which are still in the present musical - them with Michael Lanning and Linda Eder for Atlantic Records. The music contains elements of country and western, the Blues, and Broadway pop.
In February 2009, the show held an industry-only reading at Roundabout Theatre Company, starring Laura Osnes as Bonnie and Stark Sands as Clyde. It was directed by Jeff Calhoun. Other featured and ensemble cast were Rob Evan, Kelsey Fowler, Natalie Hill, Michael Lanning, David Larsen, Jacob Levine, Brynn O'Malley, Geoff Packard, Tricia Paoluccio, Jessica Phillips, Nancy Ringham, Bart Shatto, Marty Thomas, Ben Thompson, Tad Wilson and Betsy Wolfe.
Novembre 2009 La Jolla Playhouse)
The musical had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, running from November 10, 2009, through December 20, 2009. Calhoun was the director and choreographer, with John McDaniel, music director and orchestrator; Tobin Ost, Scenic and Costume designer; Michael Gilliam, lighting designer; and Aaron Rhyne, projection designer. Osnes and Sands starred, along with Mare Winningham as Bonnie's mother, Wayne Duvall as the hot-tempered sheriff who's got it in for Clyde, Melissa van der Schyff as Blanche, Claybourne Elder as Buck and Leslie Becker as Clyde and Buck's mother. It won five major 2009 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards.
Novembre 2010 Asolo Repertory Theatre
The next production opened on November 19, 2010 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. It ran through December 19, 2010, and was once again directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun. Asolo producing artistic director Michael Edwards had said: "How it goes here will determine whether it goes to Broadway."
Novembre 2011 Broadway
The musical began Broadway previews on November 4, 2011, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with the opening scheduled for December 1, 2011.