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Onstage: Always...Patsy Cline

By Rick Pender · November 21st, 2011 · CityBeat Recommends
onstage 11-30 - always patsy cline - playhouse - kathleen m. brady (louise) and carter calvert (patsy cline) - photo sandy underwoodKathleen M. Brady (Louise Seger) and Carter Calvert (Patsy Cline) - Photo: Sandy Underwood
There’s a lot to like about the Cincinnati Playhouse’s non-holiday show for the holiday season, Ted Swindley’s Always … Patsy Cline. It’s a revue that includes two dozen of Cline’s best-known songs, and actress Carter Calvert perfectly captures the iconic Country singer’s delivery and manner. Cline established a model that many Country singers still follow, and this show is a back-to-basics reminder.

The show’s framework is a friendship between Cline and Louise (Kathleen M. Brady), a “good old gal” who first heard the singer on TV, made her acquaintance at a Houston club, and then exchanged letters in the years before her life ended in a 1963 plane crash.

Louise is more than a narrator: Her over-the-top adoration of Cline and her spunky personality (she drives a car called “Sexy Dude”) contrasts nicely to the dedicated but introverted performer.

Their very human connection adds depth to the iconic singer’s story.

We learn about Louise’s fascination with Cline as well as bits about her life illustrated by her best-known tunes, starting with the opening number “Honky Tonk Merry Go Round” about “riding high and feeling low.” Cline did not write her songs (in fact, she couldn’t read music), but she took unqualified ownership of the many numbers we think of as hers — “Back in Baby’s Arms,” “Anytime,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces” and even the sassy “Stupid Cupid.”

Always ... Patsy Cline continues at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Jan. 22. Go here to read Rick Pender's full review.



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