Playing now through October 3 at the historic Sprague Theater in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Always Patsy Cline is a surefire hit. Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley, the musical is based on the true story of Cline’s relationship with her number one fan – Louise Seger. In the hands of director Barry R. Norton, Lakeland Players production is a masterpiece in both theater and country music.
The musical offers a bit of everything. It details the first meeting of Cline and Seger, and the blossoming of their friendship. In a unique storytelling manner, Louise breaks the fourth wall talking directly to the audience about her adoration for Cline’s music. Cline alternates between performing in concert, and interacting with Seger in suggestive scenes.
In all. the musical features 27 songs, all of them sung by Amber Dow as Cline, with some duets featuring Pamela Jones as Seger. The music is a delight and the dialogue is witty and moves the story alone well.
As Pasty Cline, Dow is phenomenal. The way she sculpts her voice in this entertainment piece is simply remarkable. She captures all the quintessential qualities of Cline’s distinctive voice. It is just like being at a Patsy Cline concert.
Jones has the task of keeping the story progressing. She has a natural comedic charm that radiates throughout the theater – and even into the audience for some playful interaction.
Chock full of Patsy Cline hits including “Walkin’ After Midnight”, “I Fall to Pieces”, “You’re Cheatin’ Heart”, “Crazy”, “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, and “Bill Bailey”, Always Patsy Cline keeps the audience entertained throughout the evening.
The show features music direction by John Ivan, who also plays piano in the onstage band. Rounding out the band are Peter Finnegan (fiddle, guitar, drums), Laura Proeber (upright bass), and Jory Simmons (pedal steel guitar). The band is solid; there is not one sour note.
Costumer Leigh Olson has done a wonderful job of keeping Dow looking like a star. She has an almost endless number of quick changes and every one of the outfits is a knockout. As Louise Seger, Jones doesn’t have a lot of costume changes, but her outfits are just right for her sexy, downhome character.
Hair and wigs are well done by the cumulative efforts of Catherine Doyle, Diana Kramer, and director Norton. They visually add to the believability of the witty and enjoyable production.
The set is a homage to The Grand Ole Opry with an inset of the home of Cline fan Louise Seger. The set design by Gene Dahlberg and Norton serves its purpose well. It is just the right mix of suggestive and literal.
Always Patsy Cline – a musical tribute to a county western legend – plays Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 3, 2021. The historic Sprague Theater is located at 15 W. Walworth Street in Elkhorn, WI. For ticket information call the box office at (262) 723-4848 or visit www.Lakeland-Players.org.
Lakeland Players’ Always Patsy Cline is an evening of entertainment that will absolutely thrill you and have your feet tapping to some glorious live music. You won’t be disappointed.
Peace. Love. Trust.
If you appreciate the nature of my words here, I ask that you take just a moment to share this article with your social media of choice.