Always ... Patsy Cline

February 4 to February 28, 2016 

 

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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. Through letters and visits, the two share the homespun stories of laughter and heartache that brought together a housewife and a legendary country singer.

Having first heard Cline on the "Arthur Godfrey Show" in 1957, Seger became an immediate and avid fan of Cline's and she constantly hounded the local disc jockey to play Cline's records on the radio. In 1961 when Cline went to Houston for a show, Seger and her buddies arrived about an hour-and-a-half early and, by coincidence, met Cline who was traveling alone. The two women struck up a friendship that was to culminate in Cline spending the night at Seger's house. Over a pot of strong coffee, the two women chatted about their common concerns. When Cline finally left for Dallas, her next job, the two women had exchanged addresses and telephone numbers. Seger never expected to hear from Cline again, but soon after she left, Seger received the first of many letters and phone calls from Cline. The relationship, which began as fan worship evolved into one of mutual respect. It is the kind of relationship that many fans would like to have with their heroes. A friendship that lasted until Cline's untimely death in a plane crash in 1963.

The pen-pal relationship provides much of the plot of the show. The show's title was inspired by Cline's letters to Seger, which were consistently signed "Love ALWAYS… Patsy Cline."

This fun-loving, crowd-pleasing musical complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, features 27 classic songs, including "Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams," "Back In Baby's Arms and more.

The hit musical was created by Ted Swindley in 1988 in Houston, Texas and performed at Stages Repertory Theatre, where he was the founding artistic director. In 1990, Swindley re-approached the script for a theatre in South Carolina and converted it into what is now its full-length version. After a successful performance in Atlanta the show was invited to play at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the very stage where Patsy had performed throughout her brief career.  The play had a very successful run Off-Broadway in l997 and has continued to be one of the most popular and often produced shows throughout America and has also enjoyed international success in Australia, Canada, the UK, and Ireland. 

The Show is Directed by Amiee Turner.  susical Direction by Ken Lundie and featuring  The Bodacious Bobcat Band.  Starring Erin McCracken as Patsy Cline and Susann Fletcher as Louise Seger and understudying both roles is Jeremy Parker.  Set Design is by Steve Loftus, Lighting Design is by Andrew Gmoser, Sound Design is by Jonathan Hatton and Mark Zuckerman, Costume Coordination by Heidi Giarlo, Hair/wig design by Gerard Kelly. Steve Loftus is the Technical Director, The Production Stage Manager is Victor Lukas,

  Erin McCracken hails from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is a graduate of Oklahoma City University where she studied voice under the legendary Florence Birdwell. Her recent portrayal of Patsy Cline in Always...Patsy Cline at Ocean State Theatre won her rave reviews and a Broadway World nomination for best actress in a musical. This past summer, she produced her New York Cabaret debut, Thank God I'm A Country Girl, where she performed to packed crowds and earned glowing reviews. Erin is pleased to return to Westchester Broadway Theatre where she was last seen as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray. Her regional theatre credits include: Tracy in Hairspray (Theatre by the Sea & Westchester Broadway Theatre), Nunsense (John Engeman Theatre), Winter Wonderettes (OSTC) Evita, Oklahoma! (Lyric Theatre OK), A Christmas Carol (WBT), Chiffon in Little Shop Of Horrors (Lees-McRae), Rizzo in Grease and Narrator in Joseph..Dreamcoat (Lees-McRae).  New York City credits include: Music in Movies at Carnegie Hall, Subways are for Sleeping (ODTC), The Kings Legacy (TADA!), Mack & Mabel (B-Sides Productions). 

 Amiee Turner (Director) Returns to WBT, having performed there three times! She has previously directed Erin McCracken as Patsy Cline in Always...Patsy Cline (2014) for Ocean State Theatre Company, where she is the Producing Artistic Director. Other directing credits include; Grace & Glorie (Playhouse on the Green), Babes in Arms, which included 58 children (Stamford Children’s Theatre), Katie Couric’s star-studded benefit featuring the music of West Side Story and a 30-piece orchestra (Waldorf Astoria), the original work Zap! from playwright Eric Coble (Florida Rep), academic productions of Gypsy at Providence College and Anything Goes at Coastal Carolina University, 11 productions for Ocean State Theatre Company at Theatre By The Sea (2007-2012) and 16 productions at Ocean State Theatre, since it opened in Warwick, RI in 2012. As a producer, Amiee founded A.I.S.O.P. Theatre Co. in New York City, co-produced and starred in the independent film Sunday on the Rocks alongside Tony® Award-winners Cady Huffman and Julie White, produced 23 productions at Theatre ByThe Sea and 28 productions at Ocean State Theatre.

Susann Fletcher (Louise Seger) Broadway credits include, The Full Monty as Georgie Bukatinsky, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Smitty), Guys and Dolls (Miss Adelaide), the original Broadway companies of The Goodbye Girl, and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, (Golde, Miss Electra, Timid Girl), the original Broadway company of Raggedy Ann and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Angel). She has been in the national tours of Monty, Annie Get Your Gun, How to Suceed…, Robbins’, Patent Leather Shoes and more. Television credits include featured roles in Kristin’s Last Christmas, Law & Order, All My Children, One Life to Live, Reading Rainbow, Texas and the lead role in the indie feature film Bloodsucking Pharoahs in Pittsburgh. She has performed in numerous stock, regional and workshop productions. She was nominated for a National Broadway Theatre Award in 2001 and Barrymore Award in 2002. Also a writer, Ms Fletcher’s musical, A Girl Called Dusty, had its world premiere at the Provincetown Repertory Theatre in 2005. Her play, Soft Spot, was seen in The Playwrights Festival at The Actors’ Studio.