COMING February 18 – 27, 2016 to the DAC Theatre:


murder picAmidst a crime wave in 1880s Austin, Texas, the murder of a beautiful and mysterious woman leads to the trial of the century in this musical comedy with a live band.

Based on the actual “Servant Girl Annihilator” case from 1885, which led to the electrification of the city and the creation of giant “Moonlight Towers” to illuminate the town.  This musical comedy takes an irreverent look at the corrupt detectives, crazed citizenry and scandal-ridden trial that roiled the capital city.









at City Theater
February 5 – 14, 2015.
Info 512-569-6155

In the ‘30s, the newspapers loved Bonnie and Clyde. Reporters called them everything from bloodthirsty killers to modern-day Robin Hoods. Whether heroes or villains, their iconic images sold millions of newspapers to a fascinated public. The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde explores the mix of fact and fiction in 1930s journalism that landed Bonnie and Clyde on the front pages of national newspapers.

The next installment of the Texas History Musicals, The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde–a one-hour musical created by John Cecil–tells an action-packed tale of crime and passion taken straight from newspaper reports of the 1930s. The production, which features a live band, is based on two Dallas reporters who pursue the story of the Barrow Gang and achieve flickering fame of their own. Hell-bent on selling papers, the two reporters come perilously close to the real Bonnie and Clyde. And, as the title of the opening song states, “Most of This is True.”

About Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were notorious outlaws from Dallas who, as part of the Barrow Gang, traveled across central United States, committing robberies and murders during the Great Depression. Their exploits riveted the entire nation in the early 1930s. Killed in a 1934 ambush, Bonnie and Clyde remain pop culture icons through movies, music and theatrical productions.

Cast and Ensemble

The cast includes: Audrey Acosta, Candice Carr, Carl Guthrie, Joshua Meindertsma, Megan Ortiz and Phil Rodriguez. The live band features Jonathan Hoyle, Chris La Cava, Jason Silverberg, and Mikey Walters.

About Crank Collective

Crank Collective, led by producing director John Cecil, is a rotating group of actors, musicians and theatrical artists that has performed in New York, Prague and Bucharest. The ensemble brought the show Epidemic of Fear: An Influenzical to Austin in 2009, then Drone in 2011 (nominated for an Austin Critics’ Table Award for Best Musical Production). For its Texas History Series, Crank Collective recently produced Cabeza de Vaca, Alamo Aftermath and Boomtown.


Crank Collective is a sponsored project of the Austin Creative Alliance, a non-profit arts service organization, working to advance, connect, and celebrate Austin’s creative life. The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division.



Crank Collective has been invited to perform their 2014 show, Boomtown (based on the early days of Borger, Texas), in the actual town for their Birthday Celebration, March 7, 2015.


Boomtown, performed 2014 at the Long Center

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Montage of TV KEYE morning show spots

radio interview

Interview Excerpt KUTX radio, Austin

Long Center article

Long Center for Performing Arts article



Review in Austin American-Statesman/

BoomTown logo smaller

A rowdy one-hour musical comedy about how Borger, Texas became the most lawless town in America

In the 1920s, wildcat oil strikes, sudden wealth and the 18th heroes, villains, and lawless new townships. The most notorious of these unruly cities was the panhandle town of Borger, Texas–which director John Cecil uses as the setting for his newest musical comedy, Boomtown. Inspired by the Thomas Hart Benton painting of the same title and based on memoirs and documents from the period, Boomtown is the third and final installment of Crank Collective’s Texas Musical Series. Boomtown follows the life of land promoter Asa “Ace” Borger, who seizes an opportunity to capitalize on oil strikes in the Texas Panhandle. Making a million dollars in a single day selling land, lumber, and political offices, Borger saw the population of his town boom at a staggering rate. With the notorious “Two-Gun” Dick Herwig installed as sheriff, the small city became overrun with dancehalls, bootleg liquor joints, gambling and armed robbery. The city was ultimately pacified with martial law, the Texas Rangers and the National Guard. As the final part of the Texas History Musical series, Boomtown is an hour-long musical comedy with a live band. The latest production follows Crank Collective’s Alamo Aftermath and Cabeza de Vaca, where letters, memoirs and photographs are used to create a true-to-life historical musical theatre experience.

dan dalbout in boomtown2 smallerAbout Asa “Ace” Borger

Oilmen, prospectors, roughnecks, panhandlers, fortune-seekers, card shards and bootleggers descended on the Texas town, founded in 1926 by Borger, within a matter of months. Overseen by Sheriff “Two-Gun Dick” Herwig, robbery became commonplace amidst gambling dens, dancehalls and speakeasies. Acting on citizens’ petitions, Governor Moody imposed martial law and sent troops to rid the town of lawlessness. The goal was eventually achieved, but not before Borger was shot and killed by his longtime enemy, Arthur Huey.

Cast and Ensemble

The cast features: Phil Rodriguez, Morgan Pinales, Dara Palmer, Dan Dalbout, Joshua Meindertsma, Candice Carr, Dan McLintock and Matthew Melton. Musicians include: Jonathan Hoyle, Chris La Cava, John Cecil and Michael Walters.


About Crank Collective

Crank Collective is a sponsored project of the Austin Creative Alliance, a non-profit arts service organization, working to advance, connect, and celebrate Austin’s creative life. Boomtown is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division.