I went to the opening night of “Always…Patsy Cline” because I knew my friend had a good role in the show and I enjoy supporting the company First Impressions Theatre as they’re pretty special people. As the lights dimmed, I leaned over to my friend and whispered, “I hate country music”. He whispered back, “You’re in the wrong place”. I settled in, despite my attitude.
Well… that attitude… …was gone in seconds. My friend pointed to my foot that refused to stop moving and he raised his eyebrow at me. Busted. I LOVED this show. I had so much fun.
“Always…Patsy Cline”, fabulously directed by Claude A. Giroux, written by Ted Swindley, musically directed by Gordon Roberts and Leigh Richards Stewart, and produced by Eileen and Michael Smith of First Impressions Theatre of Deep Cove, features the skills and talent of actresses, Colleen Rae Lornie (Patsy Cline), Louise Porter (adoring fan, Louise Segar), and the band, Ed Fabian, Shawn Salsiccioli, Steve Taillefer, Barb Dominik, and Skip Parker. Of course, behind the scenes is a production team that more than supported the beautiful setting of this colourful piece.
(photo by Ryan Crocker)
Like I said, I had fun. I also learned more about an artist who was vaguely in my psyche. In fact, I found myself singing along (quietly) and wondered why I knew so many songs. Colleen Rae filled the role of Patsy Cline with such a lovely sensibility and mesmerized me by her deep commitment to some of the strikingly sad lyrics. Her counterpart generously played by Louise Porter was equally passionate and full of love for Patsy Cline. She was funny as heck but don’t underestimate her comedy, bring tissues, too.
When I got home, I researched Patsy Cline and found out that her music managed to cross over the country/pop boundaries. This was rare for that type of music and also rare for a woman. She became a significant inspiration for many women singers and was awarded several times, even after her untimely tragic death.
Thank you to Ted Swindley for writing this beautiful piece that honours and entertains simultaneously. Thank you to First Impressions for choosing another play that makes me think AND tap my toes. I’m a new fan of Patsy Cline, 60 years later and I can only imagine that a deep fan of Patsy Cline would drool over this show. I did.
Don’t miss it, May 5-21, 2016, Wednesday through Saturdays at 8pm, in Deep Cove, North Vancouver.
And…. Vive le Théâtre!