|NEW!! Click here to watch a clip from Melissa's award-winning performance in "BALLAD" (Los Angeles)
|Clip from Bonnie and Clyde on Broadway
Melissa played the lead role of Blanche Barrow in the Broadway production of the musical, BONNIE AND CLYDE, at the Gerald
Schoenfeld theatre in 2011. Her performance earned 2012 award nominations from both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
She originated the role from the very first reading when only a first act and a few songs had been written.
The show had its premiere in 2009 at the La Jolla Playhouse. Her performance there earned a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award: the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
Melissa went on to another critically acclaimed performance at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida in the Fall of 2010.
Bonnie and Clyde comes from the the creative team of Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, Civil War, Dracula), Don Black (Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love, Dracula) and Ivan Menchell (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)—with a thrilling new score that combines rockabilly, blues and gospel music and is directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun (Newsies, Big River, Pippin, Brooklyn).
.... giving a standout performance is Melissa van der Schyff, singing and acting commandingly as Clyde's sister-in-law Blanche.
NEW YORK TIMES:
.... the show's best song is a slender, shimmering hymn to small and ordinary pleasures, nicely performed by Melissa van der Schyff as Blanche, the pious wife of Clyde's brother Buck.
NY 1 NEWS:
As Clyde's twangy, God-fearing sister-in-law Blanche, Melissa Van Der Schyff stands out in a terrifically quirky performance.
TIME OUT NEW YORK:
Melissa Van Der Schyff, as goody-two-shoes outlaw in-law Blanche Barrow .... is a wow throughout, with a voice like a country stream.
BLAKE ROSS, PLAYBILL MAGAZINE EDITOR - UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES OF 2011
Amazing singing by some great new talent, including: .... Melissa van der Schyff singing “That’s What You Call A Dream” from Bonnie and Clyde ....
NEW YORK POST:
Melissa van der Schyff is terrific as Clyde's sister-in-law.
MICHALL JEFFERS - WomanAroundTown.com:
Melissa Van Der Schyff is the real revelation to me. Her portrayal of the well-meaning but somewhat dim Blanche Barrow is pitch perfect, as is her sweet rendition of "That's What You Call A Dream." I'm heartened that this wonderful actress has suddenly burst onto the Broadway scene, after years of working in professional theater. She brings the Southwestern twang that is otherwise all but missing in this piece about Texas. If there's any justice, her performance is destined to be an award winning turn.
.... Melissa Van Der Schyff, whose limpid tone and sweetly trembling vibrato recall a young Dolly Parton.
.... Melissa Van Der Schyff finds both eroticism and humor as his (Buck's) pious wife.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:
Dolly Parton soundalike Melissa Van Der Schyff, who plays Buck's gospel-spouting wife, Blanche, brings emotional complexity to what could be just a joke of a role. Her duet with Bonnie, "You Love Who You Love," is a sweet highlight.
AP WRITER MARK KENNEDY: PUBLISHED IN THE BOSTON GLOBE (BOSTON), THE REPUBLIC (COLUMBUS, INDIANA), SEATTLE TIMES, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE:
Some of the standouts in the supporting cast include .... Melissa van der Schyff as Blanche Barrow has the funny "You're Goin' Back to Jail" ensemble song and the achingly pretty duet with Bonnie "You Love Who You Love."
REX REED - NEW YORK OBSERVER:
.... a worthy showcase for a few professional performers in leading roles who are vastly entertaining and amount to nothing short of major discoveries .... holding her own corner of the stage in every scene is Melissa Van Der Schyff, a knockout belter .... She plays the sympathetic and pivotal role of Blanche Barrow, the wife of Clyde's brother Buck and a woman who sacrifices her ideals and self-respect for love, which won Estelle Parsons an Oscar. She stops the show as a kind of operatic Dolly Parton, while the audience begs for more.
Melissa Van der Schyff .... has a lovely second-act ballad, ''That's What You Call a Dream''
.... as doting, domineering Blanche, van der Schyff is delightful.
There's humor in the conflict of Clyde's big brother Buck (Claybourne Elder) and his God-fearing wife Blanche (Melissa van der Schyff). Her henpecking insistence that he swear off crime and stay away from no-good Clyde yields the show's most amusing number in "You're Goin' Back to Jail," sung by van der Schyff with a gorgeous Dolly Parton-esque warble ....
Melissa Van Der Schyff is a stand-out once again as Blanche, who bring lots of emotion and humor to her role, from her comical beauty shop battle cry "You're Goin' Back to Jail" to her touching duet with Osnes in "You Love Who You Love."
TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES:
The stand out from this production is Canadian Melissa van der Schyff who is wonderful as Blanche Barrow embodying the God fearing wife of Buck Barrow. Completely different than Estelle Parsons, she makes this role her own.
DC THEATRE SCENE:
.... there were moments that came alive.... "You're Goin' Back to Jail" .... is fun and beautifully performed by the talented and incredibly named Melissa Van Der Schyff ....
Claybourne Elder as Clyde's brother Buck, Ms. Van Der Schyff as his wife Blanche, and the rest of this fine company bring acting chops and strong voices to lift the score and the book ....
Claybourne Elder and Melissa Van Der Schyff, as Clyde's brother and sister-in-law, not only sound great but show a real '30s presence - people then would have called them each dolls.
NEW JERSEY NEWSROOM:
Often droll as the wet-blanket Blanche, Melissa Van Der Schyff strikingly spikes her songs with a Grand Old Opry vibrato.
As Clyde's helpful brother and reluctant sister-in-law, Claybourne Elder and Melissa Van Der Schyff offer powerful vocal and dramatic support.
The talented quartet of Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes, Claybourne Elder, and Melissa van der Schyff are Clyde, Bonnie, Clyde's aw-shucks brother Buck, and his religious wife, Blanche. All four sing with lungs of steel.
Hobson and Van Der Schyff deliver their numbers especially well.
THE FASTER TIMES:
.... "Bonnie & Clyde" is .... a good vehicle for some tremendous talent, especially the four leads, playing Bonnie and Clyde, Buck and Blanche ....
The No. 1 Reason To See Bonnie & Clyde: Laura Osnes and Melissa Van Der Schyff singing "You Love Who You Love" .... the show's two female leads burst into three-dimensional passion and pain in the song" You Love Who You Love." Osnes as Bonnie sings with Melissa Van Der Schyff as Blanche about their love for their misguided, troublesome men (Clyde and his brother Buck, respectively). Wildhorn's country melody perfectly locks into place with the actresses' voices as they examine the common sense of love and how such a thing really doesn't exist. What elevates the song higher, however, is Osnes and Van Der Schyff's creation of a staggeringly truthful on-stage moment between these two women, who do not like each other, but for this instant, understand one another on this fundamental level. "You Love Who You Love" is pop-radio ready and will most likely become the newest audition-song obsession for female musical theater majors across the country.
"Bonnie and Clyde is lavished with talent....a piquant
performance by van der Schyff, whose Blanche is perhaps even more
helplessly in love with her man than Bonnie is with Clyde."
CHARLES McNULTY, LA TIMES
"....You wonder who'd ever want to shoot the irresistible Melissa van der Schyff's blithely pious Blanche... She leads the highly entertaining hair-salon rave-up "You're Goin' Back To Jail"
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
"As Blanche, Melissa van der Schyff looks, sounds and sings like a woman straight out of 1930s West Dallas and she's got pluck, humor and sass on top."
NORTH COUNTY TIMES
"van der Schyff provides wonderful comic relief as Blanche, but she is never a caricature ......."
" Personifying stand-by-your-man...Her musical exhortation "You're Goin' Back to Jail" is a comic highlight."
"Melissa van der Schyff is funny and rock solid, with plenty of growl in her voice, too."
SAN DIEGO NEWS NETWORK
"....In a Dolly Parton-like voice, van der Schyff tells her woes quite convincingly through many songs and great acting conveying both the horror and bliss in loving Buck."
DEL MAR TIMES
"One of the musical's most striking features: vocal authenticity...especially Melissa van der Schyff's wonderful Blanche, turn West Texas twang into a kind of music."
SAN DIEGO READER
"Clyde's brother ...and iron fisted sister-in-law, Blanche (a superb Melissa van der Schyff), eventually join the gang...the story of their ill fated marriage is almost a play in itself."
SAN DIEGO CITY BEAT
Melissa starred as Catherine in the critically acclaimed Center Theatre Group/Deaf West Production of PIPPIN at The Mark Taper Forum.
".... an exceptionally eloquent, moving performance by Melissa van der Schyff."
".... an endearing Melissa van der Schyff"
".... likable and sincere"
".... sings with a pretty countrified twang"
THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Melissa van der Schyff finds the tentative yearning in Pippin's last love Catherine"
Melissa with Tyrone Giordano in the Center Theatre Group/Deaf West production of PIPPIN
Melissa starred on Broadway in the 2003 Tony Award Nominated Musical Revival of BIG RIVER in the role of Mary Jane Wilkes for which she received the prestigious Tony Honor for Special Achievement in Theatre along with her castmates. Her vocals were compared to Dolly Parton for her country number "You Oughta Be Here With Me" by the L.A.Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Daily Variety and a host of other reviews, confirming Melissa's ability to be a vocal chameleon.
"Melissa van der Schyff has a Dolly Parton-ish honeyed nasality that is ideally suited to the funeral lament 'You Oughta Be Here With Me,' a charming bluegrass pastiche...." — NEW YORK TIMES
".... singers such as Melissa Van Der Schyff (from the Broadway cast), ... have just the right country and gospel sounds to put it across..." — L.A. TIMES regarding the music of BIG RIVER
Other theatre credits include originating the role of Kayla in the
World Premiere play BALLAD, for which she received a Dramalogue Award
and an Ovation Nomination.
Melissa appeared onstage at The South Coast
Repertory, originating the role of Virginia and Clara in The World
Premiere Musical AN ITALIAN STRAW HAT, at Center Theatre Group as Ginny
in the new musical workshop of POST OFFICE by Michael Friedman and
Melissa James Gibson and at The La Jolla Playhouse in the World
Premiere musical ZHIVAGO by Tony Award Nominee Lucy Simon, as well as
completing 13 episodes of the National Lampoon's Sketch Comedy series
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S LEMMINGS in whcih she starred and wrote numerous
comedy sketches and characters.
Click here to view Melissa's resume
Melissa van der Schyff © 2013