Thursday, June 14, 2012
Country music legend Patsy Cline comes to life this summer as the Snowy Range Summer Theatre continues the 2012 season with "Always...Patsy Cline."
Presented by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance, "Always...Patsy Cline" runs June 26 -30 at 7:30 p.m. on the UW Fine Arts Main Stage. Tickets cost $10 for the public and $7 for students, senior citizens and children over 5. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts .
Written by Ted Swindley and directed by guest artist Charlotte Guyette, this heartfelt, toe-tapping musical tribute first opened in 1993, became a sold-out hit off-Broadway, and is now one of the most-produced musicals in the United States.
"'Always...Patsy Cline' is perfect summer fun," says director Guyette. "It has live music, familiar faces and buckets of quirky humor."
Based on an endearing true story, the show recounts the real-life relationship between Cline and Louise Seger, her No. 1 fan. Seger first heard Cline sing on the "Arthur Godfrey Show" in 1957 and became an immediate and avid fan, constantly hounding the local disc jockey to play Cline's records on the radio.
In 1961, while en route to see Cline perform, Seger happened upon Cline in a Texas honky-tonk, and the two struck up an unlikely friendship. When Cline left for her next show in Dallas, the pair exchanged phone numbers and addresses, although Seger never really expected to hear from Cline again. But soon she received the first of many letters and phone calls from Cline, and the correspondence continued until Cline's untimely death in a plane crash in 1963. The musical's moniker is inspired by Cline's letters to Seger, which were consistently signed "Love ALWAYS ... Patsy Cline."
Filled with more than two dozen unforgettable hits -- including "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams" and "Walkin' After Midnight" -- "Always ... Patsy Cline" combines down-home country humor, true emotion, and even some audience participation to celebrate the life and music of one of the most acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century.
"'Always ... Patsy Cline' is Southern hospitality with the voice you love," says Guyette. "It's the Grand Ole Opry right here in our kitchen and on our own back porch."
The production features UW alumna and songstress Lindsey Cozzens as Cline and professor Lou Anne Wright as fan Seger, with UW alumnus Sean Warren Stone providing musical direction. Local musicians Chris Kennison, John Wilhelm, Jack Wallace, Don Austin and Jascha Herdt make up the show's live band.
Photo: "Always...Patsy Cline" runs June 26 -30 at 7:30 p.m. on the UW Fine Arts Main Stage.