BWW Review: ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE at Bucks County Playhouse
New Hope Pa. is a livelier than usual town this summer because of two special ladies. Sally Struthers, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress, best known for her roles in "All in the Family" and "Gilmore Girls. Her Broadway credits Wally's Café" with Rita Moreno, and Jimmy Coco and Neil Simon's female version of "The Odd Couple" with Brenda Vaccaro. She also starred on Broadway and on tour in Tommy Tune's production of "Grease" and played Miss Hannigan in the 20th anniversary national tour of ANNIE.
Carter Calvert is a Tony-nominated Broadway musical It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues alongside Grammy winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter. She played the featured role of 'Grizabella' in the Broadway national touring company of Cats, the European tour of Smokey Joe's Café, and an international tour of Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway.
These two mega talented ladies met up about 8 yrs. ago. Carter plays the wonderful Patsy Cline and Sally playing her devoted fan Louise Segar. This is where the fun begins as the two seem as 'happy a puppy with two tails' to be together to pay tribute to the celebrated star. "Always...Patsy Cline" is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. Patsy Cline joins the ranks of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, Janice Joplin and many more whose fame far outlived their young untimely deaths. But her memory will always live in the hearts of "True Love" of great music thanks to the collaborative team of Ted Windley (creator, original director). The Bucks County production is directed by David Galligan.
The show is based on a true story about Cline's friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in l961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death. Their friendship is spontaneous, unexpected, and eternal! The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy' unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight...27 songs in all. The show's title was inspired by Cline's letters to Seger, which were consistently signed "Love ALWAYS... Patsy Cline."
In an earlier interview this week both Carter and Sally shared their love for this show and endearing friendship. (See attached interview https://www.broadwayworld.com/philadelphia/article/BWW-Interview-Sally-Struthers-and-Carter-Calvert-in-ALWAYS-PATSY-CLINE-20190810 ).The dynamics of these two gals is delightful as they play off each other's feisty personalities. Ms. Struthers antics as story teller/friend is hysterically exhausting, breaking all barriers with the audience and Carter Calvert's Patsy is jaw dropping, beautiful. Calvert sings 27 famous Patsy Cline songs in a style all her own, nailing every note in a hauntingly wonderful manner.
A simple staging is more than necessary with a more than suitable 5 piece orchestra featuring John Daniels (Piano), Roger Cohen (Drums), Shane Aaserud (Bass), Tom Goslin (Electric /Nylon Guitar) and Jay Ansill ( Fiddle/Acoustic Guitar). This is a MUST SEE show this summer in beautiful Buck County.
You Tube Video: Always, Patsy Cline at the Oqunquit Playhouse