STAGES' ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE Recoups, Extends Through 8/31
STAGES St. Louis has announced that Always... Patsy Cline at The Playhouse at Westport Plaza has recouped all transfer and renovation costs in the first month of performances and will extend performances through Labor Day. The theatre company's momentous production of Always... Patsy Cline will add six additional performances per week through August 31, 2014 to its original production schedule. Always... Patsy Cline was originally produced by STAGES during its record-breaking 27th Season, which resulted in two added performances and historic attendance. Nightly, the audiences stopped the show with thunderous applause for numbers like "Crazy," "Lovesick Blues," and "Your Cheating Heart."
Original stars, Jacqueline Petroccia (Patsy Cline), and Zoe Vonder Haar (Louise Seger), returned to their award-winning roles April 22, 2014 at The Playhouse at Westport Plaza, along with the original band members (Bodacious Bobcats) for this now eighteen week engagement. Harry Hamm, of CBS Radio declared "Always... Patsy Cline is the biggest success of a musical theatre presentation in St. Louis in decades...and maybe ever."
Following the opening night performance, Always... Patsy Cline creator, Ted Swindley proclaimed "I have probably seen well over 100 productions of Always... Patsy Cline in its 26 year history and the production at STAGES St. Louis is definitely one of the very best productions I have ever seen! The cast is superb! Patsy (Jacqueline Petroccia) is remarkable. She has every nuance and vocal quirk of Patsy Cline down pat. A beautiful performance - warm, full of life and heart breaking. And Louise (Zoe Vonder Haar) has that very rare quality of being so comfortable with an audience that she has them eating from the palm of her hand from her very first entrance. Hilarious and heartfelt, everything you would want in a friend as she is to Patsy."
He continued "Michael Hamilton's deft staging is so inventive and moves the action along as fluidly as one of Patsy's ballads. The lighting, sound, sets and costumes are spectacular, too. I must also mention the extraordinary talents of a wonderful group of musicians who make up the Bodacious Bobcats band." "All in all and in every way, as the author of the piece, I could not have been more pleased and excited to see such excellence on stage! Kudos to producer Jack Lane and everyone at STAGES, a theatre that must make St. Louis very, very proud!"
Ted Swindley, creator and original director of Always...Patsy Cline, first produced the show in Houston, Texas in 1988. During the creative process, Swindley came across an interview with Texas housewife and avid Patsy Cline fan, Louise Seger, and was able to establish the local slant he had been searching for and an ultimate direction for the show. Within the interview, he discovered information about countless letters written between Seger and Cline, signed by Cline "Love, Always... Patsy Cline," until the night of her death in 1963. Always... Patsy Cline is told through the heartfelt and hilarious memories of Seger andfocuses on the fateful evening, at Houston's Esquire Ballroom, when Louise hears of Patsy's untimely passing at age thirty. After many regional productions during the early 90s, Always... Patsy Cline made it to Off-Broadway for a successful run in 1997. One of the top 10 most produced shows in twenty years, with performances in the U. S., Australia, the UK and Ireland, Always... Patsy Cline has rarely been produced in the St. Louis region.
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Henley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. She was known for helping to break down the gender barrier in country music and received her first recording contract in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, Cline joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee and successfully "crossed over" to pop music with several of her songs. Cline remains as
relevant today as she was exactly fifty years after her passing. Her legacy as one of the greatest singers of all time continues to resonate among audiences of all ages. In 2005 her album, Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits, was listed as the Longest-Charting Title by a Female Artist in the Guinness Book of World Records, with over 10 million records sold.
New York Actress Jacqueline Petroccia stars as Patsy Cline. Petroccia has portrayed the role of Patsy Cline in four previous productions, one of which earned her a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance, and her STAGES performance earned her a "Best Actress" in a Musical Award from BroadwayWorld.com. Other Credits include Carousel and Sweeney Todd with NY Philharmonic (filmed for PBS), the National Tour of The Producers and the starring role in the new musical comedy, Mob Wife.
St. Louis Actress Zoe Vonder Haar stars as Louise Seger. Vonder Haar received the 2013 "Best Actress" in a Musical "Judy Award" from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Theatre Circle Award, for the role of Louise. She has performed in over sixty productions at STAGES including: Hello, Dolly!, Gypsy, Mame and A Chorus Line. Other credits include the First International Touring Company of A Chorus Line and numerous productions at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Muny.
Standby for Patsy Cline and Louise Seger is St. Louis Actress Leah Berry. Berry last appeared at STAGES as Rose in The Secret Garden and Mary in Big River. Other regional credits include The Music Man, Sirens, Disney's Beauty and The Beast and South Pacific.
Always...Patsy Cline features a live six person band; Lisa Campbell Albert (Piano), John Higgins (Pedal Steel Guitar), Jon Ferber (Electric Guitar), Kevin Buckley (Fiddle/Acoustic Guitar), Vince Corkery (Bass), and Don Drewett (Drums).
Direction and musical staging are by STAGES St. Louis Artistic Director Michael Hamilton with musical supervision by Lisa Campbell Albert. Completing the creative team are Scenic Designer James Wolk, Costume Designer Lou Bird and Lighting Designer Matthew McCarthy.
Ted Swindley (Author and Original Director) has directed and/or produced over 200 plays for over 20 years. Some of his outstanding directorial credits include world premieres, classics and musicals including, CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, PACIFIC OVERTURES, FOLLIES and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, along with rotating repertory projects such as Havel's THE MEMORANDUM with Giradoux's THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN and LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES with THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. Ted was named to Esquire magazine's register of Americans for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Letters, and was featured in Southern Living Magazine. In 2007 he was a keynote speaker at the Southwestern Theatre Conference. He was also the recipient of the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for outstanding direction and nominated for the Los Angeles Critics Award for his work at the Pasadena Playhouse. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Stages Repertory Theatre, the second largest theatre in Houston, Texas. There he implemented such diverse programming as the Texas Playwrights Festival, for which he won national recognition in 1986 from the Wall Street Journal and Backstage Magazine. Best known for creating the hit musical, ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE, which was one of the top ten shows produced across the country in 1998, he has also directed in over 60 theatres. THE HONKY TONK ANGELS is his latest hit, and he has completed the trilogy with THE HONKY TONK ANGELS HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR, and BUBBA'S REVENGE, (which can all be done independently of each other). He has just recently premiered his latest work, BACHELOR PAD in New York City, and completed a Southern adaption of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, entitled THE IMPORTANCE OF BEIN' EARNEST, and a play, STORIES MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME, which had its premiere in Kansas City, MO, January 2008. He is an active member of the Dramatists Guild and The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and is a member of the Playwrights/Directors Workshop at the famed Actors Studio in New York City.
Single tickets for Always... Patsy Cline are on sale now and start at $49. STAGES Westport performs in the intimate, 234-seat Playhouse at Westport Plaza, 635 Westport Plaza, Maryland Heights, MO 63146. For more information or to purchase tickets call 314-821-2407 or visit www.StagesStLouis.org.