PCPA Theaterfest Stages ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE, Now thru 9/15
Always... Patsy Cline is filled with down-home humor, true emotion, and the story of a relationship that any fan would dream of having with their idol. It includes many of Patsy's unforgettable hits, including "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams" and "Walkin' After Midnight" ... 27 songs in all - with a six-piece band on stage. The show's title was inspired by Patsy's hand-written letters to Louise, which she signed "Love Always... Patsy Cline."
Reprising her role - which she played on PCPA's stage in 1997 and 1998 - is Resident Equity Artist Kitty Balay who said Patsy Cline was one of her greatest musical influences, adding, that coming back to Patsy's music feels like coming home. "It's coming back to country harmonies, soul-stirring heartache, and sometimes, just pure silliness."
This past March marked the 50th anniversary of Patsy's untimely death. Considering the span of time that has lapsed, Balay said that portraying such an iconic music star whose music is just as viable today, is a double-edge sword. "On one hand, I get to help bring this wonderful music to life while the audience gets to feel like they were right there when Patsy was singing those songs for the first time. That's thrilling! On the other hand, 'Country Music Legend' is a little daunting to try to live up to!"
Always...Patsy Cline is a not just a show full of great music and the story of a great friendship; we get to see the real side of the "legend" who was simultaneously a regular mom and the Queen of Country Music.
Suzy Newman will be playing Louise Seger, "the most devoted fan." Suzy played Olympe in PCPA's 2003 production of A Flea in Her Ear. For The Great American Melodrama she appeared in The Foreigner, The Pirates of Penzance, Under the Boardwalk, H.M.S. Pinafore and many more. Other theatre credits include Texas Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and SLO Little Theatre.
Always... Patsy Cline will be directed by PCPA alum Melissa Rain Anderson who is now a New York based Director, Actor, and Acting Coach. She directs in New York City and regionally, specializing in musicals. Her Acting credits include Network TV, National Tours, Off-Broadway, Regional, and Voice Over Work, as well as several cast recordings.
Melissa said of this musical, "Nostalgia plays a huge part in our production. We get to time travel and visit Patsy at the Grand Ole' Opry and The Arthur Godfrey Show. But also, we get to peer into simpler moments of her life, sitting around a kitchen table with her friend." She added, "I think this juxtaposition is what was so compelling about Patsy. She was driven and brutally focused on her career but also warm and friendly and human at her core. I believe this complex vulnerability is what made her irresistible to watch. I think Kitty Balay's relationship to her audience is very similar to Patsy's. There is such a palpable human-ness to Kitty, it's easy to feel that she is singing just for us. Lucky us."
The members of the creative team also include Musical Director Jonathan Swoboda, Scenic Designer DeAnne Kennedy, Costume Designer Jeni Schafer, Lighting Designer Jennifer 'Z' Zornow, Sound Designer Elisabeth Rebel, and the Stage Manager is Christina Focht.
Patsy Cline was at the pinnacle of her career when she died tragically in a plane crash on March 5th, 1963 at the age of 30. Here legacy lives on in a stack of hit recordings that show off the remarkable talents of the cross-over pop and country artist. She also recorded honky-tonk songs and experimented with rockabilly. Her song I Fall to Pieces was her first #1 country song. It also hit #12 on pop charts and #6 on adult contemporary radio.
Patsy Cline's big break came in 1957 after appearing on the "Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout" program where she performed Walkin' After Midnight which propelled her recording career and led to appearances at the Grand Ole Opry (1958). In 1973 she posthumously became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Considered one of the major female vocalists of all time, her music has continued its popularity. The album, "Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits" broke the world record for the most weeks on the US Charts for any album by a female artist - of all genres: 722 weeks - with 251 weeks at #1.
Harold Bradley wrote of Cline in his book Remembering Patsy, "[She] raised the bar. Even now, women are trying to get to that bar...It gives all the female singers coming in something to gauge their talents against. And I expect it will forever."
For tickets and information, call the box office - (805) 922-8313 - between 12:30 and 7pm Wednesday through Sunday. Information about Group Sales for 12 or more patrons may be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 928-7731 ext 4150. Visit www.pcpa.org for more information.
*Member, Actors' Equity Association