Review Roundup: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at Bucks County Playhouse; What Did The Critics Have To Say?
Bucks County Playhouse continues its 80th Anniversary Season with a crowd-pleasing tribute to the county music singer, Patsy Cline, and her unlikely friendship with a Houston housewife, Louise Seger, in "Always...Patsy Cline." Directed by David Galligan, the musical previews August 9 with an official opening performance on Saturday, August 10 at 7:30 pm and performs through September 7.
Executive Producer Robyn Goodman, Producing Director Alexander Fraser and Producer Josh Fiedler recently announced details on the casting and creative team of "Always...Patsy Cline," following the success of "Mamma Mia!" the highest grossing production in the Playhouse's 80-year history.
"We are thrilled to have Sally Struthers back at the Playhouse where she last delighted audiences in the world premiere of 'Clue,' and excited to welcome her co-star, the extraordinary Carter Calvert, who has played Patsy Cline all over the country to great acclaim. They are led by my old friend, David Galligan, who just moved East from Los Angeles where he directed many shows and stars like Rita Moreno, Tyne Daly, Gladys Knight, and Sally Struthers. In New York City audiences know him from his work on Blame It On the Movies and Life on the Pink Carpet starring Leslie Jordan," says Robyn Goodman, Executive Producer.
The production will play the following schedule: Tuesdays at 7:30 pm (plus an additional matinee performance Tuesday, September 3 at 2:00 pm), Wednesdays at 2:00 pm, Thursdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, Fridays at
8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. The opening performance will be held Saturday, August 10 at 7:30 pm.
Single tickets to "Always...Patsy Cline" are on sale now. Tickets range from $60 - $85. Special rates for groups of 10 or more. Season ticket packages for the 2020 and 2021 season will be available soon. Some performances have limited availability. For complete details, and to purchase tickets, please visit buckscountyplayhouse.org, call 215-862-2121, or visit the box office at 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA.
Let's see what the critics have to say?
John Dwyer, New Hope Free Press: The show has had a long life, and having read the reviews, one can only say that Struthers brings as much to the material as it brings to her, and she mines gold. This production is better than what was seen in New York, for any to whom that matters. I doubt, there is or will be a better version of this show than that seen on the Bucks County Playhouse stage.
Pati Buehler, BroadwayWorld: 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.
Neal Zoren, Princeton Info: All of this activity borders on bombast, but Struthers is a pro and keeps her antics on the right side of delightful. You're watching perfectly executed elemental comedy in action, and that excuses any seeming trespass. Yet, there are times I wished director Galligan would have controlled Struthers. Especially in a scene in which Patsy asks Louise to monitor a band to maintain correct tempo during Patsy's cover of Hank Williams' "Your Cheating Heart." Struthers is hilarious, but Patsy singing is a staple of the show, and Louise's talking through a ballad or demanding the drumsticks and hitting a cymbal, while getting a laugh, undermine what Ted Swindley's play wants to reveal.