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'Always...Patsy Cline' at STG this weekend and next

Southside Theater in Fairburn will be really “swinging” as it hosts an independent production of “Always…..Patsy Cline”. This presentation, produced by Ed Richardson of Peachtree City and Susan Gillespie of Newnan, showcases the Ted Swindley show about Patsy Cline and her relationship with one devoted fan. Patsy Cline, one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century, touched the hearts of many with her soulful tunes, thanks in part to her ability to make listeners feel like she was a friend talking to them personally, expressing their own thoughts.

“Always….Patsy Cline” is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically in 1963 at the age of 30 in a plane crash. The show is based on a true story of Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger. Louise (played by Susan Gillespie) befriended Patsy Cline (played by Patty Richardson) in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her untimely death. What began as Seger’s fan worship of Patsy Cline developed into a deep friendship based on mutual respect. As Gillespie put it, “It represents the kind of relationship that many fans would like to have with their heroes.” The show’s title was inspired by Cline’s letters to Seger, which were consistently signed “Love ALWAYS……Patsy Cline”.

According to Richardson, “The show combines humor, sadness and reality. It offers fans who remember Patsy Cline while she was alive a chance to look back, while giving new fans an idea of what seeing her was like and what she meant to her fans. Patsy Cline paved the way for women as headline performers…..and she was the first woman in country music to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall.”

The musical play, 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. In this production, the singer is accompanied by a professional country/western band (The Bodacious Bobcats) led by Rick Massengale, a Newnan resident who serves as the Music Minister for First Methodist of Fayetteville.

“We are so excited to have Rick directing and playing with the band. Rick’s professionalism and talents are well known throughout the entire Atlanta region”, said Richardson.

The show runs for two weekends, July 13-22. Friday and Saturday night shows start at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees start at 3 p.m. Tickets are $17 each and are available at www.southsideevents.net or by calling 770-252-1791.

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