OUTLOOK: Country Music icon Patsy Cline comes to life at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre
Published 4:00 am Sunday, May 8, 2022
Letter writing has become a dying art with email and text messaging becoming the preferred way of communicating.
This, however, was not the case in 1961 when country music icon Patsy Cline began exchanging letters with a woman she met in a Texas bar.
Cline and Louise Seger, who was a fan, became friends after the chance meeting and the pair corresponded up until the time of Cline’s death in 1963.
It is this friendship and the letters forged between the women that inspired Ted Swindley to create a musical tribute to the legend entitled “Always…Patsy Cline,” the phrase used by the star to close each of her letters.
Described by the American Theatre Magazine as one of the most produced musicals in America, “Always…Patsy Cline” will be performed at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre, 101 Iowa Ave. under the direction of Jim Miller, who is an active member of the Vicksburg Theatre Guild.
Taking on the role of Patsy Cline is Glenda Arredondo.
This is Arredondo’s fourth time performing in “Always… Patsy Cline.”
The Vicksburg resident said she liked the role because she loved that it is based on a true story. Arredondo said she also enjoyed the energy of the show, as well as wearing all the beautiful costumes.
“I also love singing emotional ballads and that was Patsy’s specialty,” she said.
Locals Shirley Stuart and Renee Adcock-Irons will alternate in the role of Louise for the six scheduled performances.
“We have two extremely talented actresses sharing the role of Louise and I guarantee both of them will make you laugh out loud,” Arredondo said.
In addition to the female performers, a live band will be accompanying the women.
“I am extremely honored to have a seven-piece band with extremely talented musicians, four of whom played this musical with me two other years,” Arredondo said.
For this production, Arredondo said, Chris Goodin will be playing the steel guitar.
“He is so talented and having the steel guitar adds another layer of authenticity to the songs,” she said. “We also have a magnificent male backup quartet who sing in 13 of the 27 songs in the show.”
Arredondo said it was impossible to pick a favorite, but she did like singing “Two Cigarettes In An Ashtray” because it showed the low register of her voice, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” because she got to do a little yodeling and “Gotta Lotta Rhythm” because it highlighted the band.
Cline only recorded songs for about six years, yet her talent left behind a legacy for fans worldwide, Arredondo said.
“With Patsy’s lovely inflections and tone,” Arredondo said, Cline was able to give you a window into her soul which allowed listeners to connect.
“It’s almost as if she were a neighbor coming over for a cup of coffee and spilling her heart out to you,” she said.
Performances of “Always…Patsy Cline” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 13, 14, 20 and 21 and at 2 p.m. on May 15 and 22.
Arredondo said for those who may wish to see their “friend, co-worker or church buddy” perform, Adcock-Irons will perform in the May 13, 15 and 21 shows and Stuart in the 14, 20 and 22 shows.
Reservations to the show are encouraged. Tickets are $20, $15 for ages 65 and older and 13-18 and $10 for ages 12 and younger and are available at the door or at https://showclix.com/events/10243.
Editor’s Note: The source material for “Always… Patsy Cline” is derived from four pages of Vicksburg native Ellis Nassour’s book, “Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline.”