Honkeytonk Angel Patsy Cline Remembered at Westchester Broadway Theatre
BY GEORGE J. DACRE
This is an intriguing production of the brief singing life of Virginia-born Patsy Cline starring country girl Erin McCracken (from Oklahoma) and Susan Fletcher, direct from NYC Broadway.
They team up in a nostalgia-filled presentation of the very memorable life and times of the late Patsy Cline and a woman, Louise Seger, who befriended her in Texas honky tonk. Ultimately Seger becomes close friends with her favorite star singer, Cline, who is destined to die in a plane crash in 1963.
WBT describes it as follows, “Having first heard Cline on the “Arthur Godfrey Show” in 1957, Seger became an immediate and avid fan of Cline’s and she constantly hounded the local disc jockey to play Cline’s records on the radio. In 1961 when Cline went to Houston for a show, Seger and her buddies arrived about an hour-and-a-half early and, by coincidence, met Cline who was traveling alone. The two women struck up a friendship that was to culminate in Cline spending the night at Seger’s house. Over a pot of strong coffee, the two women chatted about their common concerns. When Cline finally left for Dallas, her next job, the two women had exchanged addresses and telephone numbers. Seger never expected to hear from Cline again, but soon after she left, Seger received the first of many letters and phone calls from Cline.
McCracken, who previously appeared in “Hairspray” at Westchester Broadway has Cline’s delivery and voice down pat and she and Fletcher are a great comedy team. Fletcher comes off strong as a good ol’ gal from the Lone Star State.
Ted Swindley wrote “Always, Patsy Cline” and his touch brings to the Westchester Broadway stage a unique presentation that moves smoothly and professionally under the direction of Aimee Turner of the Ocean State Theatre Company. McCracken comes as close to the Patsy Cline sound as one could hope, belting out tunes such as “Walking After Midnight,” “Crazy,” “Your Cheating Heart,” “I Fall to Pieces” and many more.
Backed up by the Bodacious Bobcat Band of Ken Lundie, Ken Ross, Geoff Marrow and Guy Fischetti, piano, drums, bass, steel guitar and fiddle, it is a Honkeytonk musical that I rate Four Stars out of Four! Never a dull moment and you will just love McCracken and Fletcher. “AwaysPatsy Cline” Westchester Broadway Theatre’s 194th production and you have to try the Country Style BBQ Ribs at Broadway Theatre. Tickets at 914-592-222 or www.broadwaytheatre.com.