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Always...Patsy Cline

a Musical
CATEGORY :
by Ted Swindley

COMPANY : Theatre On Main [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre On Main [WEBSITE]
ID# 3270

SHOWING : January 09, 2009 - January 24, 2009

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Andrea Redd stars as Patsy Cline in Theatre On Main's production of Always...Patsy Cline that opens January 9th. The show also features Carolyn Choe as Louise and a live on-stage band. 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. 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 1961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death.

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 Waking 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."

You don't want to miss the special production that is sure to please. Always...Patsy Cline runs January 9th - 24th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM. There is a Sunday matinee on January 18th at 3 PM. Tickets purchased in advance are $15, $12 for seniors and students. Tickets sold at the door will be $18 for all tickets. For tickets and reservations call 770-565-3995. For more information about this and other shows, visit Theatre On Main's website www.theatreonmain.net


CAST & CREW LIST
Musical Director Jim Chabucos
Lighting/Sound Design Gerard Foret
Crew David Powers
Drums Trip Cox
Fiddle Aerin DeJarnette
Guitar Jeremy Sexton
Keyboards Hayley Tanner
Louise Seger Carolyn Choe
Patsy Cline Andrea Redd
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Honky Tonk Angel
by Dedalus
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
4.0
“Always… Patsy Cline” is a “Juke Box Musical” that attempts to paint a portrait of Country Music legend Patsy Cline using only her hits and the recollections of a fan who became a friend and correspondent. The result is a tad unbalanced, but likeable enough to give a full recommendation.

The biggest drawback in the conception is that I’m not sure we can get a clear portrait of Ms. Cline using only her songs. After all, she was a singer, not a songwriter, and her name doesn’t appear on any of the more than twenty songs included here. We’re left not really knowing anything about her, about why she chose these songs to record, about who she really was beneath the lovelorn country music façade.

On the other hand, we get to know her correspondent, Louise, in great detail. And, in Carolyn Choe’s marvelously energetic hands, we get a full-fledged character who ends up dominating the evening with her recollections, her enthusiasms, her amusing turns-of-phrase, and her devotion to Ms. Cline. It’s also a pleasure to see a “Fan Geek’s” fantasy come true – an evening gaining the confidence of a star, building a friendship, a rare view “beneath the façade.” For some reason, though, this script does not allow us that same glimpse.

One problem in this production may be Andrea Redd’s rendition of Ms. Cline. Accurate in every gesture, in every vocal nuance, in every song, I nevertheless came away with the feeling that she was “holding back” on us, that she was afraid to get to that “raw nerve” of anguish that dominated the songs of Patsy Cline. She hit every carefully-researched note correctly, but missed the heart of the character entirely. Ms. Redd had a repertoire of only a couple facial expressions (indeed, the smiling program cover shows more feeling than her entire on-stage performance) which creates an almost insurmountable barrier between her and her audience.

And, yet, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Although it’s easy to write the performance off as more impersonation than characterization, it is still a remarkably good impersonation. I really loved her interplay with the live on-stage band, loved her vocal dexterity, and loved her recreation of the few Patsy Cline hits with which I’m familiar. That I wanted more passion may be more a product of my own expectations than of her efforts.

Conceptually, I liked how the production frames her story in a small honky-tonk rather than at a huge Grand Ole Opry auditorium – it uses the intimacy of the Theatre on Main venue to perfection, and allows interplay with the audience, all of whom seemed to enjoy sharing the experience. If the period specificity was compromised by the use of an electric piano and by those irritating modern head mikes (which didn’t always deliver the goods), it wasn’t as fatal an error as you might imagine. The focus, after all, is the music and not the period.

Still and all, the only dialog allowed Ms. Cline was apparent ad-libbed comments to the audience and band. Even a breakfast scene after the concert is told with songs rather than dialog. We are left knowing little or nothing of Patsy Cline’s life, yet the glimpse her songs gives us is enough to make news of her death moving and effective.

So, in the final analysis, I liked this show more than my comments may suggest. It was a pleasure to hear, and Ms. Choe’s characterization was a pleasure to watch. It used the small venue almost perfectly, gave us a talented mimic with a good band, and made us see what made Patsy Cline a star.

Call me “Crazy,” but there ain’t nothing wrong that!

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)


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I fell to pieces
by Parrott65
Sunday, January 18, 2009
4.5
Patsy Cline. I have to say that my expectations of anyone performing her work is such a high standard, that if anyone can pull it off relatively well is doing pretty darned good in my opinion. That was my feeling upon arrival to Theatre on Main this afternoon. I was very skeptical about someone performing Patsy Cline and doubted they could pull it off. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Andrea Redd did a pretty good job of it. Of course, no one is going to be exactly like the original. However, her wonderful voice did an outstanding job of pulling me into the music from time to time. I have to say that "I fall to pieces" and "Crazy" were spot on performances, while others had a hit or miss moment to each of them. I think the one note I would give Andrea would be the showmanship that might have been lacking. I almost got a sense that Andrea was a little "dead" in the face for the most part. She constantly had the same facial expression. I'm not sure if it's just her or what, but it almost appeared as though Patsy had a look of anger on her face through the whole show. I would urge her to smile much more than she did, because at times, it took me away from the music and trying to figure out what exactly it was that had the scowl. Yet, don't get me wrong, she shined in her own way.

The other one that I really have to compliment is Carolyn Choe. Of all of the performances she has given, this is one of her best. She really plays to an audience and I have to say that there were moments where she stole the scenes. Next to "'Night Mother", she took this character and rocked. I thought her excitement about Patsy, her natural humor when conversing with the audience, and her sidestage reactions while Patsy was singing were fantastic. To be honest, I don't have any notes that I would give her if I had directed. I thought she did a fine job.

Lastly is the band. Just wow. I don't even have words to describe how well this group was Musically Directed. Combined with a VERY small, but effective ensemble, this entire cast, musicians, directors, and staff have pulled off one of Theatre on Main's best shows. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
The closest thing you can get to the real Patsy Cline
by localtheaterfan
Saturday, January 17, 2009
5.0
This is the best show I've seen at Theatre on Main and I've been going there since it was Cobb Playhouse. This show is part concert, part play and all outstanding production. Andrea Redd who plays Patsy Cline not only looks like the real Patsy but she sounds like her and mimics Patsy's stage mannerisms exactly. If it were in black and white, I would've sworn I was watching a Grand Ole Opry rerun. Carolyn Choe plays Louise, a woman that Patsy struck up an unlikely friendship with in the early 1960's. Their unlikely meeting and even more unlikely lasting friendship, until Patsy's untimely death at the age of 30, is told in a fascinating way as Louise entertains us as a character just as vivacious and lively as Patsy herself. This is an interactive show complete with sing-alongs and dancing in the aisle if you are so inclined. Take your friends and family members to this show if you’re looking for a great evening out. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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