I only heard the name Patsy Cline a couple years ago, having been introduced to her music by a friend. While it is possible that I may have heard her songs as some of the tunes sounded familiar, I did not know who she was, why she was so important, and why her music is still very popular today.
Firebrand Theatre is pleased to launch its 2019-2020 season with a limited engagement of ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE, featuring Artistic Director Harmony France and Christina Hall, who alternate in the roles of Patsy Cline and Louise Seger.
Patsy Cline was an American country music singer and part of the Nashville sound during the late 1950s and early 1960s. She successfully “crossed over” to pop music and was one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century.
The show starts with getting to know Houstonite Louise Seger. Having first heard Patsy on the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1957, Louise becomes an immediate and avid fan of Patsy Cline. We hear about how she calls the local radio station every day to request Patsy’s songs. And not only does she request that they be played once, but once every hour in the afternoons.
In 1961, Louise finds out that Patsy Cline is coming to town for a show. Well, of course Louise is not going to miss out on seeing Patsy Cline. She gathers a group of friends and they arrive at the honky tonk an hour-and-a-half early and save a good spot at the show. Little does Louise know that not only will she see Patsy Cline perform, but will meet and strike up a lasting friendship with her favorite singer, exchanging letters which Patsy would sign, Always…Patsy Cline .
Funny, charming, and joyful, this 2 hour musical features a live band and 27 songs such as “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking After Midnight”. Don’t miss it! Harmony France and Christina Hall, are both talented and captivating, bringing the music and friendship of these two women alive.
Written by Ted Swindley, with direction by Brigitte Ditmars and music direction by Andra Velis Simon,ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE will play November 16 – December 15, 2019 at The Den Theatre’s Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For tickets and a schedule of roles, visit firebrandtheatre.org.
The production team includes Lauren Nichols (scenic design), Stephanie Taylor (costume design), Cat Wilson (lighting design), Giselle Castro (sound design, sound engineer), Rachelle R. Kolecke (props design),Lauren Griffith (assistant director), Richie Vavrina (master electrician), Jessica Baldinger (assistant scenic designer), Adrienne Miikelle Johnson (assistant lighting designer), Jon Martinez (producer), Lucy Walker (associate producer), Rose Hamill (production manager), Anika Jones (assistant production manager) and Jacqueline Widman (stage manager).
Firebrand is the first musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering womxn* by expanding opportunities on and off the stage. *womxn is used to include trans and non-binary folx.
Band: Andra Velis Simon (conductor/keyboard), Steven Romero Schaeffer (guitars), Emma Sheikh (fiddle) and Tina Muñoz Pandya (drums).
Photos by Michael Brosilow