BWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre Restaurant

BWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre Restaurant

"Always... Patsy Cline" at New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park is a delightful, two-hour sojourn into mid-twentieth century "Country and Western" music. Patsy Cline was an early country singer who achieved crossover success and a very loyal listener following.

Our two person (and a band) play chronicles Patsy's relationship with a Louise Seger, a rabid fan, beginning with Cline's 1961 roadhouse appearance at Houston, Texas. Seger and Cline became good friends.

Seger first became aware of Patsy Cline when Cline performed on Arthur Godrey's Talent Scouts program in 1957. Seger loved the music and got into the habit of requesting it from the Houston C&W format radio station.

The play is really just a light excuse for Patsy (Christine Mild) to sing Cline's extensive twenty-six song catalog of hit music. Louise (Cathy Barnett), resplendent in orange cowboy shirt, jeans, and matching cowboy boots, serves as continuity, comic relief, and cover for Patsy's frequent costume changes.

Patsy fronts a six-man country band called "The Bodacious Bobcats." Christine Mild has the Patsy Cline thing down cold. She effectively summons the well-loved singer back from the grave to the wild appreciation of her many remaining fans. Cathy Barnett tells Patsy's story (and her own effectively) with a sense of mildly ribald humor. Cathy Burnett has most of the dialog. Christine Mild handles most of the singing.

The show, written by Ted Swindley, tells the singer's story using the device of a mainly one-night true encounter at a Houston area roadhouse. It is effectively staged by Joe R. Fox III, a long-time New Theatre producer. The sets are designed by James A. Misenheimer and lit by Sean Glass.BWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre Restaurant

"Always... Patsy Cline" is a technically very simple production. This makes all the professional little touches by Misenheimer and Glass even more effective. Sets fly in and out. The band appears and disappears on a bandstand wagon. Stars appear on the cyclorama. The buffet dinner, as always at New Theater Restaurant, is excellent along with the table service.

A few of Cline's best known songs are "Walking After Midnight," "I Fall To Pieces," "Your Cheating Heart," "Blue Moon Of Kentucky," and "Crazy."

Patsy Cline died in a 1963 single engine Piper Comanche private airplane crash on her way home after performing at a benefit event in Kansas City Kansas.

It is worth telling that Patsy Cline was from Winchester, Virginia; just miles from Arthur Godfrey's ranch at Leesburg Virginia. Godfrey, an enthusiastic pilot, left his ranch and private airport to Loudoun County Virginia. Patsy is buried at Winchester Virginia near a museum to her built in her childhood home.

"Always... Patsy Cline" continues at the New Theatre Restaurant through December 2. Tickets are available online, at the box office, or by telephone. One woman on her way out of the theatre reviewed the show as "the bestest."

Photos provided through the courtesy of New Theatre Restaurant.

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From This Author Alan Portner

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