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Review: You'll Fall to Pieces for ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE, at Broadway Rose

Review: You'll Fall to Pieces for ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE, at Broadway Rose

Imagine meeting your favorite musician at a gig, inviting them to crash at your place, and becoming friends. For Louise Seger, this happened in 1961, when she arrived an hour and a half early for a Patsy Cline show and wound up having a beer and, later, bacon and eggs with the multi-award-winning country music star. This story of this night is the foundation for the musical Always...Patsy Cline, which is now enjoying its third run at Broadway Rose.

When I first heard about Always...Patsy Cline, I figured that, like many tribute musicals, it was simply a vehicle for Cline's music. It certainly is that -- the roughly 2-hour show contains 25+ songs, with most of Cline's greatest hits album (yes, that includes "Sweet Dreams," "Crazy," and "I Fall to Pieces") performed in their entirety. But it's also a funny, touching account of the night a superfan's dream came true and a reminder of the magic that can happen when we get up the courage to reach out to another human being.

Sara Catherine Wheatley, who has been playing Patsy Cline for 10 years, positively glows. Vocally, she's a dead ringer for the distinctive singer, and she's worked to perfect Cline's mannerisms as well. In one scene, Wheatley recreates Cline's 1957 performance of "Walking After Midnight" on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, down to the head nods and hand gestures. From the opening song, Wheatley had the audience clapping their hands, tapping their toes, and happily singing along, even outside of the designated sing-along time, which would normally drive me nuts, but in this case felt somehow appropriate.

In contrast to Cline, who had a reputation for elegance, is Louise, who's the kind of person you'd describe as "a character." Sharon Maroney is awesome in this role -- slinging wisecracks and rocking some wild outfits as she guides the audience through Cline's life and music.

Always...Patsy Cline runs through May 6. If you're a Patsy Cline fan, seeing this show is a no-brainer. Even if you're not familiar with Cline's work, I encourage you to check it out. You'd have to try pretty hard not to have a good time. More details and tickets here.

Photo credit: Sam Ortega

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