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Andrea Olsen and Haliey Weber are Patsy Cline and Louise Seger, two women who share a deep connection despite their differences in this Yvonne A.K. Johnson-directed version of the country musical for the Spokane Valley Summer Theatre series.
After a well-received run in 2017, Spokane Valley Summer Theatre will kick off its current season with another production of the musical, which opens Friday and runs through June 30.
Cline’s career lasted just 16 years, and only really took off in the last six, but still-devoted fans and performances as strong as Fleming and Olsen’s in shows like “Always, Patsy Cline” will keep the singer’s legacy alive for years to come.
Spokane Valley Summer Theatre pays tribute to influential country singer Patsy Cline with production of “Always, Patsy Cline.”
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.
When you’re looking for a Patsy Cline, you need a certain age – the singer’s career spanned just 15 years – and a certain look. Most of all, when it came to casting the star of a story told mostly through song, the director of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” was looking for a certain set of pipes.
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.
Spokane physician Bassem Bejjani has been appointed to the Washington State Arts Commission. He joins two other Eastern Washington appointees on the 23-member panel – Mark Anderson of Walla Walla Foundry and Amanda Jackson of the Methow Arts Alliance in Twisp – named by Gov. Chris Gregoire last week. Commissioners who are appointed by the governor help advise the governor and legislators on arts issues in Washington. By law 19 members are appointed by the governor; four are members of the Legislature.