|Always ... Patsy Cline brings fun and good times to Bucks County Playhouse
posted by Ralph Malachowski on Aug 19, 2019 10:30am | comments
The Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, is now presenting Carter Calvert and Sally Struthers in Always …Patsy Cline until September 7.
Playwright Ted Swindley based this play with music on the real-life friendship of famed Country/Western singer Patsy Cline and her Houston, Texas, fan Lousie Seger. Seger went to see Cline perform in 1957 and became fast friends with the down-to-earth Cline. They actually had a friendship which produced dozens of letters between them until Cline’s death in a plane crash in 1963.
Always …Patsy Cline has been seen several times over the past several years hereabouts, first at Bristol Riverside, then at the Walnut Studio on 3. Here at Bucks County Playhouse, Carter Calvert assumes the role of Patsy Cline. A seasoned singing actress in many shows, off Broadway and on, she has performed this role to acclaim many times and it shows: Calvert has the Cline sound totally under her control. The audience this weeknight often went wild in their acclaim for the 27 songs which are part of Always …Patsy Cline. As Lousie Seger, stage and television actress and comedienne Sally Struthers takes up the audience from her very first lines and carries the audience along the Sally Struthers express in a breathless joyride. Struthers clearly relishes the lines given her and far outdoes what may be written with every trick and schtick in the book of theatre. The audience was in the palm of her hand and they loved every minute of it. Credit must be given to the ultra-professional Carter Calvert who was seemingly immune to the shameless upstaging and constant caperings about the stage by Struthers who lost no opportunity to chew the scenery. Indeed, Calvert seemed to be as charmed by the irrepressible Juggernaut Struthers as was everyone else in the house.
The audience was largely composed of people who had grown up and loved Cline during her heyday. Often, moans of appreciation and pleasure welled up from them, especially when “Walkin’After Midnight,” and Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” received heartfelt and sincere delivery from Ms. Calvert. An integral element of this two-person show, the band often was used for the leads to play off, and they acquitted themselves charmingly in addition to providing excellent musicianship. The orchestra members were: John Daniels, music director and piano; Roger Cohen, drums; Shane Aaserud; Tom Goslin, electic/nylon guitar; and Jay Ansill, fiddle/acoustic guitar.
Some important notes should be mentioned when you do decide to go, see, and enjoy this great show. Owing to Sally Struthers adding so much stage business to the show, it does run nearly two and one-half hours. Parking in New Hope is challenging, to put it mildly. Handicapped parking is nearly non-existent. There is a lot owned by the Playhouse immediately adjacent to the theater, which is mostly valet parking at $20. Cocktails, wine, and beer are available at several bars, also owned by the Playhouse. A cocktail will often be about $20. Tickets are priced at $85 to $60.
The 2019 season continues with the return of The Rocky Horror Show, October 11-27; Once, November 8-30; and the Christmas show December 6-29. The 2020 and 2021 Seasons have also been announced and are available by advance subscription. The 2020 Season will include I’m Not Rappaport; The Addams Family; Dames at Sea; and Avenue Q.
For information about Always …Patsy Cline performance times and ticket purchase, as well as future shows and subscriptions, visit www.bcptheater.org or call 215-862-2121.