I’m sorry, something is wrong with you if you don’t love a good Patsy Cline song. With a sultry voice reminiscent of cigarettes and whiskey, her songs came with a jukebox number and lyrics full of unabashed love and longing, Watching “Always …Patsy Cline” now playing at The Red Barn Theatre is just like Patsy said “Being Back in Baby’s Arms Again.” Actresses Christine Mild as Patsy Cline and Joy Hawkins as Louise Seger bring Ted Swindley’s 1988 popular musical to life with such talent and sheer joy that, “the only thing different and the only thing new” is the audience gets to relive the good old days at least for an hour or two.
The play intertwines Mild as Patsy singing her most popular hits as well as some oldies, an outstanding 27 songs in total. Mild’s ability as a songstress makes Patsy come alive and her rendition of “Sweet Dreams” is glorious. Meanwhile Hawkins as Louise provides the story of their friendship with such comedic triumph, Louise is seemingly Hawkin’s alter ego with hilarious one liners like “I am an electronics technician, we can’t all be hairdressers.”
It’s crazy but the true story about when Patsy developed a friendship with super fan, Louise back in 1961. It seems the two were fated to go out walkin’ after midnight when the pair met at a Houston concert and the two steel magnolias bonded over marriage, kids, heartache and career. Until Cline’s tragic death in a plane crash in 1963, the women kept up correspondence and Patsy’s letters to Louise were forever signed “Love Always…Patsy Cline.”
The play is funny, heartfelt and just a really good time. Mild and Hawkins have reprised these roles many times over that it’s polished perfection so there is no reason to fall to pieces, time only adds to the flame.
Accompanying the ladies on stage is a live band featuring Jim Rice, musical director, Drew Perkins, fiddle, Roger Rettig, pedal steel guitar and Lee Vinters, drums. It’s not just a musical but an outright concert as well, perfectly executed. So “See the pyramids along the Nile, watch the sunrise on a tropic isle, just remember darling all the while, you belong to me…” Don’t miss it.
Red Barn Theatre
Now through March 10
redbarntheare.com or call 305-296-9911