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Home | Maine State Music Theater Reviews | MSMT Audience is "CRAZY" about Always...Patsy Cline

MSMT Audience is "CRAZY" about Always...Patsy Cline

MSMT Audience is "CRAZY" about Always...Patsy Cline

Review by Charles Crosby The much anticipated 2017 Maine State Music Theatre Season (MSMT) has arrived and the two woman show...Always...Patsy Cline was another sell out on opening night. Curt Dale Clark, MSMT Artistic Director, announced on stage that two additional shows have already been added since it is selling so well. So plan to get your tickets now if you want to see this humorous, entertaining and nostalgic production.

You might ask how does a musical with two actors keep an audience entertained and bring them to their feet with an ovation at the end of the show? I can't explain it, you have to see it and experience the electricity and energy to truly understand.  Always...Patsy Cline delivers and is another hit for MSMT.
 
Always...Patsy Cline was created by Ted Swindley who wanted to present a production featuring Cline's music, but he did not want it to just be a typical musical revue or a biography on the singer's life. He sought a local slant on the show and discovered an interview with a Houston housewife, Louise Seger, in a Cline biography. Within the interview he discovered information about countless letters written between Seger and Cline up until the night of her death in 1963. Always... Patsy Cline is told through the heartfelt and hilarious memories of Louise from the time they met at Houston's Esquire Ballroom to when Louise hears of Patsy's untimely passing at age thirty. 
 
Christine Mild plays the role of Patsy Cline as I have seen no other. She has previously played this role in eight other productions as well as starring in MSMT's CATS as Grizabella twelve years ago. Mild sings Patsy Cline's songs like an angel and has channeled her on stage. She and her fellow performer Charis Leos have great chemistry and play off each other well. 
 
Fan favorite Charis Leos, in her twelfth season at MSMT, has thankfully returned and reprised the role of Louise Segar, a part she first played at MSMT in 2010. Leos is just as funny, loveable and perfect in this role as she was back then. Leos and Mild are magic together on the Pickard Theatre stage and 27 songs are sung during the production including "Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams," "Back In Baby's Arms" and more.  
 
Patrick Fanning, Musical Director and Conductor of the on stage band does an excellent job with the music and is accompanied by Stephanie McCullough on Fiddle, Dean Clemmer on Pedal Steel Guitar, David Salter on Guitar, Michael Vitale on Bass and Jake Smith on Drums. The band shows tremendous dynamic control and the mix of the instruments with the vocals of Mild (Patsy Cline) is perfect.  I cannot remember a better opening night performance in this area and there were no technical issues noted. 
 
The Co-Director/Choreography team of Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark are excellent and deliver a nice production here. Robin will be Directing and choreographing Disney's Newsies this season and has directed many shows at MSMT and is also Executive Artistic Producer of the Fulton Theatre.  Clark is entering his fifth year as MSMT Artistic Director and acted on this stage for six seasons before joining the management team. MSMT is truly blessed to have this versatile actor, singer, director and choreographer in this role. 
 
Charles S. Kading (Production Manager), Williams James Mohney (Scenic Designer), Matthew Demascolo (Lighting Designer), Shannon Slaton (Sound Designer), Jacob Mishler (Effects Designer), Brittany Leffler (Costume Designer), Anthony Lascoskie, Jr. (Wig Designer), Katelin Walsko (Props Designer), Mark Johnson (Production Stage Manager) and Amy M. Bertacini (Assistant Stage Manager) and their teams are the  unsung heroes behind the scenes that bring this show to life. The sets, costumes, sound and lighting were all notable. 
 
"Always...Patsy Cline" will run through June 24 at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College Campus in Brunswick. Two shows have been added so call the box office for tickets today at (207) 725-8769. For more information, go to www.msmt.org.
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