Photo Flash: Opening Night at ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE
The hugely popular musical play telling the story of legendary country singer Patsy Cline and her most devoted fan, ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE kicks off Theatre at the Center's 2012 season. Based on a true story of this unparalleled pioneer for female performers and a fan from Houston she befriended in a Texas honky-tonk, the production previews February 23, opens February 26 and runs through April 1. See photos from opening night below!
ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE will be directed by Brian Russell. Russell, making his Theatre at the Center debut, is the former Artistic Director of American Theater Company and Director of the 1996 Chicago Premiere of ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE which transferred from Northlight Theatre in Evanston to a lengthy commercial run at Chicago's Apollo Theater.
Also making her Theatre at the Center debut, newcomer Heather Beck will star as "Patsy Cline". Beck has received rave reviews for her performances as "Patsy Cline", starring in A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, PA as well as at the Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, IL.
ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE is a tribute to Patsy Cline's true friendship with Louise Seger, a fan from Houston. Having first heard Cline on the "Arthur Godfrey Show" in 1957, Seger became an immediate and avid fan of hers. In 1961, when Cline went to Houston for a show, Seger and her friends arrived early for a show and met Cline. The two women struck up a friendship and remained pen pals until Cline's untimely death in a 1963 plane crash at the age of 30.
This musical play offers fans who remember Cline while she was alive a chance to look back, and give new fans an idea of what Cline was like and what she meant to her fans. The title comes from the closing in all of Patsy's letters to Louise - "Love always, Patsy Cline." Complete with humor and true emotion, this 1960s tribute includes many of Patsy's unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams, and Walking After Midnight.
Heather Beck will be making her Theatre at the Center debut in Always...Patsy Cline. Her other credits include; All Shook Up (Miss Sandra), Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle), Singing in the Rain (Lena Lamont), Cats (Bombalarina), Seussical The Musical (Mayzie), Smokey Joe's Café (Brenda), and Leader of the Pack. Heather has been the lead vocalist with Holland America and Princess Cruise Lines, where she can boast visiting every continent. She is also an avid cabaret performer.
Janelle Snow's Chicago stage credits include The Crowd You're In With at the Goodman, Spare Change at Steppenwolf, Suddenly Last Summer (Jeff Award) with Eclipse Theatre, Only the Sound (Jeff Nomination) at Chicago Dramatists, Flung and The Trip to Bountiful with American Theatre Company; Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Jeff Award), Auschwitz Lullaby (Jeff Nomination, After Dark Award) and Lips Together, Teeth Apart, all at Circle Theatre. Her film appearances include Ca$h, Death of a President, The Watcher, New Port South and the award-winning comedy short The Widower and her television appearances include Boss, The Beast, ER, Early Edition and Turks.
The Artistic Team, led by Theatre at the Center Artistic Director William Pullinsi, features Direction by Brian Russell and Musical Direction and Orchestrations by William A. Underwood. The design team includes Scenic Designer Jack Magaw; Lighting Designer Emil Boulos; Sound Designer Barry G. Funderburg; Costume Designer Brenda Winstead, Wig Designer Kevin Barthel, and Props Designer Elizabeth Fandrei. The Stage Manager is Rebecca Green, the Technical Director is Ann Davis; and TATC's General Manager is Richard Friedman.
Theatre at the Center is offering numerous special events to enhance the theater experience in conjunction with ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE. The first is a Beer & Wine Tasting event held Friday, February 24. The tasting will be held at 6:30 p.m. followed by the 8 p.m. performance. Additionally, tickets buyers for this event will be automatically entered to win a Gourmet Beer & Wine Basket. The Beer & Wine Tasting can be added to any theater ticket for $15. Ticket holders for the Saturday, February 25th performances also have an opportunity to win great prizes. Ticket holders are automatically entered to win either "Patsy Cline- Sweet Dreams", her Complete Decca Masters 1960-1963 double CD set or an autographed Taylor Swift photo. Next, on Thursday, March 1 Theatre at the Center will present a Talkback Thursday event. Audience members will enjoy a free post-show discussion directly following the performance featuring members of the cast and creative team. The ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE 2nd Saturday Symposium will be held Saturday, March 3 at 3 p.m. Steve Zana, Indiana 105.5's radio personality will lead a free pre-show discussion titled "From Patsy to Taylor - What's Old is New Again." Reservations are required. Finally, on Thursday, March 15 Theatre at the Center will present a Crazy for Country Dinner/Theatre event. The cost is $50 for Dinner & Theatre. The pre-show dinner at 5:30 p.m. is conveniently located right across from the theatre lobby. This is followed by the 7:30 p.m. performance.
Kathleen Gibson & William Pullinsi
Rich Koe, William Underwood, Greg Hirte, Harold Morrison, & Jamie Martinez
Janelle Snow & Heather Beck
Janelle Snow & Heather Beck
Brian Russell & Richard Friedman