There’s still a chance to catch Always…Patsy Cline at the Highlands Playhouse to be entertained with strong performances by leads Sandia Ahlers, playing Patsy Cline; and Sami Weathersby, playing the fan that began a lifelong relationship with Cline after meeting her in a bar in Texas.
“’Always…Patsy Cline!’ is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in 1963,” said Playhouse Managing Director Lance Matzke. “The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961 and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death.”
He added the show is complete with down-home country humor, true emotion, and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight…27 songs in all. The show’s title was inspired by Cline’s letters to Seger, which were consistently signed “Love ALWAYS… Patsy Cline.”
“Already a Highlands favorite, Always…Patsy Cline is a fitting finale to our 2019 summer season,” said Matzke.
This is not Ahlers first rodeo playing Cline as she has played the role several times, most recently in Virginia and performs throughout the country while living in New York City. She said her character may be in the play’s title, but costar Weathersby does just as much work on stage and takes a lot of the pressure off in a musical performance like this.
“I really couldn’t claim the ‘lead’ because my counterpart, Louise (Weathersby) is on stage talking for the entire show,” said Ahlers. “Really, it’s impressive how much material she has mastered in order to put on this show. That said, I think there will always be some kind of pressure when you are doing something that you love, something that you’ve put yourself in the middle of. At the end of the day we just want to share a couple of hours genuine interaction with our patrons. We want it to go well for them so that we all leave a little more invigorated with life.”
Ahlers performs almost 30 songs, which pushes vocal limits, but said the most challenging aspect of this role are the costume changes.
“Some might assume vocal stamina, and let me tell you, the sheer number of songs in this show is not a joke,” said Ahlers. “I believe it lands right around 30. I have to drink a gallon of water every day just to keep up! However, my truest challenge every night is making all of my costume changes! Patsy has a ‘quick-change’ nearly every time she leaves the stage. It’s safe to say that while there is a whole show on stage there is another entire production backstage to get me dressed in time for the next number.”
She added that this show is fun for all ages and wants the audience to leave with a smile on their face.
“This is a show for hootin’ and hollerin’, so stomp those feet and clap those hands,” said Ahlers. “Highlands Playhouse puts on some really high-caliber work. Bring everyone down to experience it! Granny, grandpa, and young ones are all welcome to this show. This show celebrates the joy of life and real friendship. You never know what kind of love is coming around the corner. I hope everyone leaves with a favorite song in their head and a smile slapped across their face.”
Always…Patsy Cline runs through Aug. 17 and showtimes are Wednesdays – Sundays, weekday showtimes are at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. ONLY. Tickets are $40. For more info click HERE.