-Courtesy of Walnut Street Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre (WST) continues its 213th season with ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE, a celebration of friendship and country music stardom, based on a true story. Created by Ted Swindley and directed by Debi Marcucci, the production begins previews April 12, opens April 20, and continues through May 15 on the Walnut Mainstage.
Patsy Cline’s soulful voice coming from the radio spoke to Louise Seger like none she had ever heard. On a special trip to see Patsy at a honky-tonk bar in Houston, Louise saw her idol sitting alone and approached her. Out of that chance meeting, an unlikely friendship began. In ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE the two share their letters, visits, and homespun stories of laughter and heartache that brought together a housewife and a legendary country singer. This down-home, crowd-pleasing musical features 27 of Patsy’s unforgettable classics, including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Back In Baby’s Arms,” and more.
Patsy Cline deftly melded her traditional country roots and a more modern pop style to become one of the most acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century. Her legacy and popularity remain strong with millions of albums continuing to sell today. In 1973, she posthumously became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Walnut last told her story in Always…Patsy Cline as part of its 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 series. During this three-month run, the show sold out every performance.
South Philadelphia native Debi Marcucci will return to direct ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE. Marcucci, who helmed the 2016 production, has also directed WST productions of Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower, Oleanna, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday, and Lobby Hero in the Studio. In addition to her directing credits, Marcucci served as Stage Manager of over 120 productions at the Walnut. Music Director Chris Burcheri will return to finish his second season on the Walnut Mainstage, after taking the podium in this season’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Beehive – The ‘60s Musical. Burcheri’s other Walnut credits include Young Frankenstein and Shrek the Musical.
Jenny Lee Stern will reprise her role as Patsy Cline, having portrayed the legendary singer both in the Walnut’s 2016 production and at numerous other theatres. At the Walnut, Stern’s credits include West Side Story, High Society, 42nd Street and more. She has appeared in the original Broadway cast of Rocky as Joanne and in A Christmas Story as Mrs. Schwartz at Madison Square Garden, in addition to playing Mary Delgado in the national tour of Jersey Boys.She has also been seen Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway and Spamilton, and can be heard on the Anniversary Cast Album of Disenchanted.
Rebecca Robbins, last seen on stage at the Walnut as the evil sea witch Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, will play fan-turned-friend of Patsy Cline, Louise Seger. Robbins’ many roles at the Walnut include Paulette in Legally Blonde, Mrs. Banksin Mary Poppins, and Florence Foster Jenkins in Souvenir. On Broadway, Robbins has appeared in A Tale of Two Cities and The Phantom of The Opera, in addition to traveling across the country in the latter’s North American Tour.
WST Technical Director and Scenic Designer Brian Froonjian (The Adventure of the Speckled Band, Beehive) will take audiences to the heart of 1960’s America and to renowned stages where Patsy Cline Played, including the famed Grand Ole Opry. WST Costume Shop Manager Natalia De La Torre (Speckled Band) and Mark Mariani (2016’s Always…Patsy Cline, The Importance of Being Earnest) return to reimagine the trend-setting outfits of Cline, who often designed her own dresses. They are joined by Lighting Designer Matt DeMascolo (Beehive) and Sound Designer John Kolbinski (Popcorn Falls, Civil War Voices).
ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE runs at the Walnut from April 12 through May 15, 2022. Open captioning will be available for the Sunday, May 1 performance at 7 p.m. This production is sponsored by Parx Casino and PNC Arts Alive. Media Sponsors are 6ABC and Metro Philadelphia. Discounted tickets are also sponsored by PNC Arts Alive. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.