After hundreds of sold-out performances on the North American tour and an award-winning run in Branson, Mo., one of the hottest stage shows in America rolls into Baxley Friday, February 26 when the Arts Council of Appling County presents the musical theatre sensation, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.
The show traces the late star’s footsteps from her early honky-tonk days and radio fame through her rise at the Grand Ole Opry and triumphs at Carnegie Hall and Las Vegas.
Written and conceived by Dean Regan, the musical reveals the emotional depth and range of a singer who defined the term “crossover hit” by dominating country, blues, pop and gospel charts simultaneously in the 1950s and early 1960s. The show won the Best New Show Award when it premiered in Branson, Mo., in 1995 and enjoyed universal praise during its inaugural 36-city North American tour.
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline features a powerhouse singer and actress who sings 22 of Patsy’s greatest hits including “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “Sweet Dreams,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” “She’s Got You,” “Seven Lonely Days” and the title song, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”
Backed up by a band of singers and musicians, Patsy interacts throughout the show with Little Big Man, a disc jockey from her hometown in Winchester, Va., as well as a host of outrageous stand-up comics that serve as warm-up acts for her concerts and radio shows.
The audience is also treated to a stunning array of elaborate show costumes – from Patsy’s signature blue-and-white fringed Opry outfit to the glimmering sequined gown worn for her Carnegie Hall appearance. These costumes do more than decorate the stage and the actress. They actually help tell the story of Patsy’s career, life and untimely death at the age of 29.
The show is produced by Springer Theatricals and the Springer Opera House, the State Theatre of Georgia, located in downtown Columbus. The Springer is a 143-year-old National Historic Landmark with a year-round schedule of plays, musicals and a top-ranked children’s theatre academy. The theatre also has one of the nation’s busiest touring schedules, performing in over 60 U.S. cities each year. In 1999, the Springer completed an elaborate $12 million historic restoration that made it a model for historic theatre preservation across the United States.
Since Reconstruction, the Springer has been a revered Southern cultural institution with the world’s most celebrated artists making pilgrimages to perform in the Victorian elegance of its famous mainstage theatre. From Edwin Booth, Lilly Langtry, Buffalo Bill, Ethel Barrymore and John Phillip Sousa in the old days to more modern appearances by Mary Martin, Truman Capote, Hal Holbrook, Burt Reynolds and Marvin Hamlisch, the Springer Theatre has been a centerpiece for the performing arts in the South since 1871.
“A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline is one of the warmest, happiest shows any theatre is ever likely to present,” said Springer artistic director Paul R. Pierce. “I’ve seen people swear up and down that they don’t like country music and then head straight for the record store after they’ve seen Patsy. Even hard-boiled jazz aficionados are surprised when they hear those flat fifths and diminished chords in many of Patsy’s songs. Far from being a twangy hillbilly singer, Patsy’s voice and interpretive abilities are easily comparable to Judy Garland’s. This show has created so many new Patsy fans – especially among young people who are just discovering the soul and spirit of this great American artist.”
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline will be performed Friday, February 26 at 7:00 PM at the Appling County High School Fine Arts Center. Tickets for the show are $20 for Reserved, $15 for General Admission, $10 for Students and are on sale now. You can get them by visiting the Baxley-Appling County Chamber of Commerce, online at the Arts Council of Appling County Facebook page, or by calling 912-278-2772.
The Arts Council of Appling County is a 501c3 non-profit organization that exists to encourage and stimulate the practice and appreciation of all of the arts by supporting the equality of all individuals to share in creative expression. ACAC presents various cultural performances and experiences that enhance the artistic personality of our community in a way that celebrates uniqueness, diversity and unity. ACAC depends on membership and sponsorship to fulfill its mission. To learn more about ACAC and its programming, visit us on Facebook or contact us at 912-278-2772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.