Monday, August 12, 2013
"That's how I always wanted to sing."
Those words are from Louise Seger who back in 1957 first noticed an unusual voice singing on the radio that she could identify as unique and definitely special. Quickly, Louise became an extremely loyal fan of Patsy Cline, even nagging her local radio station by requesting Patsy's music daily. This fan devotion continued to grow until she finally met Patsy. Their relationship grew into an unusual friendship which is the basis for this musical, "Always...Patsy Cline" which opened last weekend at The Waiting Room in Omaha.
As Patsy Cline, Erika Hall is perfect. For singing almost thirty songs, it is truly amazing how she really sounds like the legendary artist who was the first female singer whose recordings were in two categories, country and pop. Erika Hall's energy transformed her into Patsy, as she became a star and evolving from country outfits made by her mother into the classy Jackie Kennedy style of the time.
Louise Seger portrayed by Sue Booton tells the progression of Patsy's fame and her special friendship. The relationship of these two actresses and their parts is what makes this play truly magical. Louise is the comedy and the continuity to Patsy's singing. These two are definitely a winning combination reminding me of the 1950s Lucy and Ethel bond.
The band, led by Mark Kurtz, perfectly matched their music and humor of the twosome on and off stage, as well as the men's quartet back-up singers. Their harmonies, arrangements, instrumentation always added to the overall musical experience which was wonderful.
The Waiting Room is the perfect venue for this play. This intimate setting added warmth and delight from the audience while still Sue Booton room for her character, Louise. The production crew and the staff are both outstanding. (Yes, even the drinks are reasonably priced.)
"Always...Patsy Cline" is a production of PART, Performing Artists Repertory Theatre which is a non-profit group. The first and second acts each last about an hour with an intermission. This show will run August 17, 18, and 24th with Saturday shows at 1 pm and Sunday shows at 1 and 5 pm. Tickets costs are $35 with special group rates for those over 10 and can be purchased by calling (402) 706-0778.
Unquestionably, this is one of the best shows and I expect that many of the performers will be nominated for special area theatrical awards. Both Erika Hall and Sue Booton unquestionably deserve awards for their performances.
For those who remember the days of Patsy and those who want to know more about this legendary musician, "Always...Patsy Cline" definitely is a memorable and outstanding show.