Bristol Riverside Theatre rings in the new year with Always…Patsy Cline by Ted Swindley running January 27-February 22. Directed by Susan D. Atkinson, the cast features Jo Twiss and Jessica Wagner. Based on a true story, this intimate musical combines down-home country humor and heartache to recount the unlikely friendship between country music legend Patsy Cline and her most devoted fan, Louise Seger.
Previews begin Tuesday, January 27 with opening night on Thursday, January 29. Performances run Tuesday through Sunday until February 22. Tickets start at $25, with discounts for students, groups and military personnel. Tickets are available by visiting brtstage.org or calling the BRT Box Office at 215-785-0100. Bristol Riverside Theatre is located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, PA.
Having first heard Patsy Cline on the "Arthur Godfrey Show" in 1957, Louise Seger became an immediate and avid fan of Cline's and she constantly hounded the local disc jockey to play Cline's records on the radio. In 1961 when Cline went to Houston for a show, Seger and her buddies arrived about an hour-and-a-half early and, by coincidence, met Cline who was traveling alone. The two women struck up a friendship that was to culminate in Cline spending the night at Seger's house. Over a pot of strong coffee, the two women chatted about their common concerns. When Cline finally left for Dallas, her next job, the two women had exchanged addresses and telephone numbers. Seger never expected to hear from Cline again, but soon after she left, Seger received the first of many letters and phone calls from Cline. Always…Patsy Cline focuses on the fateful evening at Houston's Esquire Ballroom when Seger hears of Cline's untimely death in a 1963 plane crash. Featuring the songs that made Patsy Cline famous--Anytime, Walkin' After Midnight, She's Got You, Sweet Dreams, and Crazy – the show depicts the evolution of a relationship from fan worship to one of mutual respect.
Ted Swindley (Author and Original Director) created Always…Patsy Cline, which was one of the the top ten shows produced across the country in 1998. Named to Esquire Magazine’s register of Americans for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Letters, he was a keynote speaker at the 2007 Southwestern Theatre Conference. He was also the recipient of the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for Outstanding Direction and nominated for the Los Angeles Critics Award for his work at the Pasadena Playhouse. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Stages Repertory Theatre, the second largest theatre in Houston, where he implemented such diverse programming as the nationally-acclaimed Texas Playwrights Festival.
Susan D. Atkinson (Director) theatrical career spans 40 years of directing and producing on both the east and west coasts. She has directed well over 150 plays and musicals in her career, including world and area premieres from such playwrights and composers as Doug Katsoras, Mark St. Germain, Jon Marans, Alan Knee and Larry Gatlin. For BRT, Atkinson has directed such shows as Tuesdays with Morrie and Little Shop of Horrors last season as well as What A Glorious Feeling and Inherit The Wind, The Good Earth, Wintertime, Irma La Douce, Alive and Well, The Price, 110 in the Shade, A Sunbeam, Inspecting Carol, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Arsenic and Old Lace, A Little Night Music, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Holiday, Talley’s Folly, Proof, Little Women, A Raw Space and Steel Magnolias. In 1998, Atkinson directed Larry Gatlin’s Texas Flyer both here at BRT and at Theatre Under The Stars in Houston, Texas.
Jo Twiss (Louise Seger) recreates the role she played ten years ago at BRT. She previously appeared at BRT last season in Pride and Prejudice, and has also been seen in Up, which earned her a BroadwayWorld.com nomination for Best Actress, as well as Deathtrap, Steel Magnolias, The Spitfire Grill, and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. She starred in Rabbit Hole at both Pittsburgh Public Theatre and Hartford’s Theatre Works and in The Travels of Angelica at Cincinnati in the Park. On Broadway she appeared as Big Mamma in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a role she reprised in St. Louis and Cincinnati where she won an Acclaim Award for her performance.
Jessica Wagner (Patsy Cline) makes her BRT debut with this role. She has starred in numerous productions at Forestburgh Playhouse including The Sound of Music, Spamalot and Avenue Q, and in My Fair Lady at Ocean State Theatre Company. She has been featured in cabaret performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Town Hall and Joe’s Pub @ The Public Theatre.
Always…Patsy Cline brings together the creative team of Set Designer Adam Koch, Costume Designer Linda Bee Stockton, Lighting Designer Cory Pattak, and Sound Designer Liz Atkinson.
Always….Patsy Cline is licensed by the family and estate of Patsy Cline.
BRT’s Mainstage season continues with the Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime with book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (March 17 - April 12, 2015), and the timeless drama An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Brian Johnston and Rick Davis (May 12 - May 31, 2015).
Since 1986, BRT has brought consistently acclaimed professional theatre to Bucks County and maintains a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays. The theatre is the recipient of over 70 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre, given annually by Theatre Philadelphia. In addition to its Mainstage productions, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community, with such programs as children's theatre, community concerts and exhibitions of local visual arts. Currently under the direction of Artistic Director Keith Baker, Founding Director Susan D. Atkinson, and Managing Director Jameson Gilpatrick, BRT continues its 28th season. For information, visit www.brtstage.org.