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Oct. 26, 2012, midnight
Dean Regan’s “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” offers an intimate, nostalgic stroll through much of Cline’s music but keeps the audience at an arm’s length in revealing the inspiration behind her signature songs. Directed by Jhon Goodwin at Spokane Civic Theatre’s Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre, the show is the second of two jukebox musicals about the country legend to grace Spokane’s local theater scene this season. Similar to “Always … Patsy Cline,” presented last month by Interplayers Professional Theatre, “A Closer Walk” provides well-sung and skillfully orchestrated interpretations of Cline’s spellbinding compositions.
Oct. 22, 2012, midnight
We’re all familiar with the oldies “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry” and “Oh, What a Night,” but few know much about the four men behind these hits – until now, thanks to the Tony Award-winning, international Broadway phenomenon “Jersey Boys.” Subtitled “The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons,” “Jersey Boys” is an irresistible musical biography of a hugely successful pop group – and one of the best jukebox musicals to date.
Sept. 23, 2012, midnight
Leave it to comedy legend Mel Brooks to conceive a musical with material so offensive it becomes downright hysterical. Thus, the major ingredient in Brooks’ multi-Tony Award-winning musical, “The Producers.” Opening Spokane Civic Theatre’s 66th season, director Marianne McLaughlin, choreographer Ali Wade and music director Benjamin Bentler – the same creative team behind last season’s “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” – present a scaled-down version of the Broadway smash that manages to preserve much of the show’s original, ridiculous flavor.
Sept. 16, 2012, midnight
Nearly a decade later, Interplayers Theatre brings back its tried-and-true production of Ted Swindley’s musical revue “Always … Patsy Cline.” It’s hard to imagine the theater’s wildly popular 2003 show – whose run was extended twice – could’ve been any more heartwarming and worthwhile than the current production, starring Cheyenne Nelson playing one of the 20th century’s most celebrated female vocalists. The show triumphs mostly because of Nelson’s ability to convey Patsy Cline’s distinct, full-bodied contralto vocals and emotional honesty. Its success also depends on the overall easy delivery of Swindley’s interesting storyline, centering on the real-life friendship and pen-pal relationship Cline developed with fan Louise Seger in 1961, until her tragic death in a plane crash at the age of 30, in 1963.