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Always... Patsy Cline

a Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by Ted Swindley

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 3715

SHOWING : April 13, 2010 - April 25, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Always… Patsy Cline" tells the true story of the special friendship between two women, one a rising star and the other a devoted fan, over a pot of strong coffee in Louise’s kitchen and through letters and phone calls shared until Patsy’s untimely death. Re-live the magic through the songs that made Patsy Cline a pop and country music legend: “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and many more. This amazing musical stars Denise Hillis as Patsy and Jill Jane Clements as her sidekick Louise. "Always… Patsy Cline" is by far the most requested show that we have ever produced and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to you once again.

This show is rated PG due to some mild language.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Chuck Tedder
Guitar Dolph Amick
Bass Mark Bynum
Piano Bethany Irby
Guitar Rob Lawhon
Drums Ryan Richardson
Louise Jill Jane Clements
Patsy Denise Hillis
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Great Replacement
by playgoer
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
4.5
Georgia Ensemble Theatre had "Grease" lined up as its season closer, with a great cast of local singers/dancers/actors. Rights were pulled just before the show was to open. In eight days, "Always... Patsy Cline" was put on the boards as a replacement. "Nunsense" might have been a more logical choice – after all, "Nunsense" is supposed to be played on a high school stage set for a production of "Grease" – but "Always... Patsy Cline" fills the bill with great flair.

The set is pretty simple – a few levels of platform with lights on the stairs, barn-like flats framing the proscenium – but it works well. The lighting effects are pretty simple, relying largely on spotlights, with flashing lights on those stairs adding a bit of visual excitement. Director Chuck Tedder doubled (or tripled) as scenic & lighting designer, so his attentions were on getting the show up and running. The simple blocking on a simple set avoids any extraneous distractions in the production.

Costumes for the character of Louise are just as described in the dialogue – black and yellow western outfits, on the gaudy side – while Patsy Cline's outfits are 60's conservative in style. The band wears western outfits in red. Costume designers Julie Geiger and Jim Alford are responsible for most of the color and visual variety onstage.

As for the performances, they're what make this production. Denise Hillis, as Patsy Cline, brings a big voice and vocal confidence to her role, without investing the character with any particular star power. This works remarkably well, for Patsy is described as being a very down-to-earth person. Jill Jane Clements, as Louise, makes up in sparkle and pizzazz for any lack elsewhere. She brings her character delightfully to life and carries the narrative arc of the show, just as Denise Hillis carries the musical portion.

The band is made up of a number of talented individuals, many of whom have made their mark on local stages as actors and singers. Their work is accomplished, although they have little to do other than play their instruments and hum a bit of accompaniment here and there. In eight days, they pulled together as an admirable combo, although the sound balance occasionally had the band overpower the vocals in the performance I saw.

Of the jukebox musicals that have proliferated in recent years, "Always... Patsy Cline" is one of my favorites. It has no pretensions of glitz and reinvention. It gives us a lot of songs and a strong, simple story. The strong, simple staging at Georgia Ensemble Theatre lets the qualities of the show shine through winningly. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
your Nunsense comment by Okely Dokely
You wrote ""Nunsense" might have been a more logical choice [to replace Grease] � after all, "Nunsense" is supposed to be played on a high school stage set for a production of "Grease".

One would think so, but the set for GET's Grease was not your typical Grease set. There was no car or classic Grease logo anywhere. It looked more like it could be the set for Stomp. Anyway, I'm impressed that they pulled together APC at the last minute, and I'm proud to report the Buddy Holly Story remount is gearing up to open next week downtown.


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