LIVE: “Always, Patsy Cline” @ The Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham [GailSez]
Both times I have had Always…Patsy Cline on my reviewing schedule I have looked at it warily and with much sighing, and both times I have left the Mac-Haydn high as a kite and happy as a clam. (Shall we put a clam on a string and see if it flies?)
Somehow the idea of a show about Patsy Cline (1932-1963) is unappealing, while the reality is just the opposite. Back in 1997 Ted Swindley took a chapter from Ellis Nassour’s biography, Patsy Cline: An Intimate Biography, and turned it into a show jam-packed with wonderful tunes and laugh-out-loud comedy, with a real human story at its heart. It has played all over the world to great success, and I can see why.
Swindley was the Artistic Director of the Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston and when be came up with the idea of a musical about Cline his first question was: Had she ever played Houston? That led him to the chapter in Nassour’s biography which consisted of the author’s interview with Louise Seger (1932-2004), a Houston housewife who met and became friends with Cline when she played the Esquire Ballroom in Houston in 1961 – a friendship that continued, mostly by letter, until Cline’s untimely death in a plane crash.