Always…Patsy Cline – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If you’re into fiddles, fringe and fans, then Music Theatre of Connecticut has a humdinger of a show to set your heart a twangin’.If you’re a country western music fan, you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to hog heaven when you experience “Always…Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley weekends until Sunday, February 24. Even those rare among you who don’t two step or dance the “Achy Breaky” will find a lot to love about this energetic and warm hearted romp into Grand Ole Oprey Land. MTC’s intimate stage is perfect for this musical showcase.

Put on your fringed western shirts and cowboy boots and help Louise Seger, the queen of Patsy Cline’s fan club, pay tribute to her favorite lady. A simple Houston housewife, Louise discovered Cline on the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1957. Four years later, when Cline comes to Houston to perform, the two women meet and an instant friendship is cemented. Like secret-sharing sisters, Patsy and Louise exchange phone calls and letters for the next two years until a plane crash robs the world of Patsy Cline at age 30.

The play showcases Mia Scarpa as perfection itself as the magnetically musical Patsy Cline and provides a string of pearl hits like “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Crazy,” “I Fall To Pieces,” “You Belong To Me,” and “True Love.” Becky Barta is a smart talking, adoring Louise and the friendship between the two is a joy to behold. Together they present a delightful country concert that fills the room with love.

Scarpa admitted before she got the role, she was only familiar with Patsy’s pop songs, but not her country music. She found herself quickly “hooked” and loved that she was playing a real person and soon was obsessed with her musical style. She says it is “a joy” and loves her close connections with Becky’s Louise.

For tickets ($30-55) call the Music Theatre of Connecticut, 509 Westport Avenue, Norwalk (behind Nine West Shoes) at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com. Performances are Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 4pm and 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Pamela Hill directs this soul inflating song fest with musicians Thomas Martin Conroy, Mike Tosca, David Sonneborn and Chris Johnson providing rip roaring musical backup. MTC is busy preparing for Fairfield County’s Giving Day 2019 on Thursday, February 28 so call the theatre to see how to participate and donate.

Even though Patsy Cline has been dead over five decades, her record sales have gone gold and platinum in the 1980’s, with her recording of “Crazy” as the most popular juke box single to date and her “Walkin’ After Midnight” on the top ten hit list worldwide. So whether you’re a diehard fan like Louise or a brand new devotee, ”Always…Patsy Cline” is sure to swing your fringe.

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