An excellent musical is now playing at the Westchester Broadway Theater in a limited engagement. Always… Patsy Cline is a biographical musical of the short music career of the late Patsy Cline. The play was produced off Broadway in 1997 and has been in numerous productions throughout the U.S. This production features the music of Patsy Cline which ranges from country, rockabilly, early rock and roll, and even gospel. The evening is filled with 27 different songs split between Acts One and two and the story of the rise of Patsy Cline is filled with humor and the touching relationship of a fan and her idol.
The musical is interesting in the fact that there is only two actors on stage, and a four piece country and western backup band. The story of Patsy Cline is told by Louise Seger, a house wife from Houston Texas who meets Patsy at a Texas club during a performance and a friendship blossoms which is continued through the years by mail. Louise serves as the narrator of the play and it is she who weaves the story together between the many musical numbers. Louise is played by Susann Fletcher an actress whose impressive resume includes numerous Broadway credits (Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business, Guys and Dolls, Goodbye Girl), as well as numerous national tours and television appearances. Ms. Fletcher is brilliant as she engages the audience head on, pulling us into the play. She even comes into the audience to dance with an audience member during one of the musical numbers. She is both touching and very funny, and her ability to ad lib when necessary kept the audience laughing.
Erin McCracken plays the role of Patsy Cline, and though her speaking parts are limited as Louise narrates the story, Ms McCracken sings every one of the 27 songs in the performance. Ms. McCracken’s voice is outstanding and she really channels the spirit of Patsy Cline. Her vocals are rich as she takes on a number of genres. She really scores with Patsy’s hit “I Fall to Pieces” . In Act Two, her rendition of “Crazy” (written by Willie Nelson) is mesmerizing. Her prior performance as Patsy Cline at the Ocean State Theatre is evident as she seems comfortable in her role. During one of the songs, the stage lights dim and a swirling mirror ball provides the lighting as Patsy and the band transform you from 2016 to some small theater performance in 1961. It is quite the evening.
If you don’t know all of Patsy Cline’s songs there are other familiar numbers in the performance that you will remember including, “Your Cheating Heart” (Hank Williams), “Stupid Cupid”(Neil Sedaka), “You belong to Me” (recorded by Cline and also The Duprees), and “Shake Rattle and Roll”(recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis and others). All are delightful as is the direction of Amiee Turner and story by Ted Swindley.
Always…Patsy Cline is a fun musical but it will only be at the Westchester Broadway Theater until February 28th, so book now. Dinner is included with your ticket purchase and parking is free.
Westchester Broadway Theater
One Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York 914-592-2222
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