BWW Review: ALWAYS PATSY CLINE at Riverside Center For The Performing Arts Soars!
Get your tickets to one of the most entertaining productions of the year. Riverside Center's production of ALWAYS PATSY CLINE radiates with authenticity, humor and powerhouse vocals. Given the unique, roll-with-the-punches audience interactions, no two performances are the same. The production runs through July 15 at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg.
ALWAYS PATSY CLINE stretches the true story of an unlikely friendship between a country legend and her fan-turned-best friend over more than 20 of the country star's most beloved hits, including "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams," "Leavin on Your Mind," and "Walkin' After Midnight."
David Galligan directs the dynamite pair without reservation, providing ample room for improvisation. Michael Jarrett's lighting is simple but effective. Riverside's two -sided set offers great separation for different scenes, and fly-ins set the stage for important scenes such as The Grand Ole Opry. Brittany Walters' set decoration adds a layer of realism.
Under the musical direction of Walter "Bobby" McCoy, the live band is a highlight of this production. ALWAYS PATSY CLINE is one of the only shows in which audiences might hear a pedal steel guitar, played brilliantly here by Gary Lee Gimble and Ron McNuss.
As Patsy, Carter Calvert is genuine and shows off her powerful vocals while maintaining the authenticity of Patsy Cline's Signature Sound. Sally Struthers is larger than life as Patsy Cline's pen-pal Louise Seger, often breaking fourth wall to engage directly with the audience. She has multiple show-stealing moments, and her performance is not to be missed. There's a sweetness to the impeccable chemistry between the pair. It's as if they're performing the roles for the very first time even though they've done the show hundreds of times together.
Audiences who appreciate improvisational humor or like their musicals with a little bit of country twang will love the lighthearted ALWAYS PATSY CLINE at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts.