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Stoneham Theatre brings back ‘Always… Patsy Cline’ beginning July 8


Stoneham Theatre presents Always … Patsy Cline, starring Becky Barta. Performances run from July 8 through July 25: Thurs. (7:30 pm), Fri. (8 pm), Sat. (4 pm & 8 pm), Sun. (2 pm). Tickets: $48 regular admission, $42 for seniors, $20 for students; with student/senior discount matinees available. [Special pay what you can performance on Thurs., July 8.] Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, Stoneham. Wheelchair accessible. For advance tickets and information, visit or call the Box Office at 781-279-2200 (hours Tues.–Sat., 1–6pm) or log onto www.stonehamtheatre.org.

Always … Patsy Cline is based on a true story about the legendary country singer’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended Patsy in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with her until Patsy’s tragic death at the age of 30. The shows title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love Always Patsy Cline.” This down home rollicking musical tribute includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as “Crazy,” “I Fall To Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Walking After Midnight.”

Becky Barta is best known for her long run with the national touring company of Les Miserables and for her many performances channeling music artist Patsy Cline. Since 1995, Kansas City native Barta has devoted a significant chunk of her theatrical career to portraying Patsy, who died tragically in 1963 in a plane crash following a concert in Barta’s home town. In an interview in Pitch Music, Barta talks about her fascination with Patsy: “You wouldn’t be able to portray the character without inherently loving her music. Patsy’s appeal was that she was such a storyteller in the phrasing and timbre of her voice. She could take a really horrible song and turn it into a really good song.” Barta has won praise and many awards for performing the role of Patsy in productions that have toured nationwide, including off-Broadway. Barta had performed Always … Patsy Cline in Stoneham to sold-out audiences back in July 2004, and the theatre has been in earnest to have her back ever since. More information on Barta can be found at www.beckybarta.com.

Director Joy Hawkins, currently the Artistic Director of Key West’s Red Barn Theatre, will portray Patsy’s pen pal Louise, who she also portrayed at Stoneham Theatre in 2004. Author Ted Swindley, who directed the 2004 production, has many credits under his belt, but he is best known for creating Always … Patsy Cline, which by 1998, was one of the top ten shows produced across the country. Locally based music director Jim Rice (keyboard) will conduct the 6-piece band which includes Matt Ambrose (bass), Mike Ihde (steel guitar), Mick Lewander (drums), Steve Marchena (guitar), and Adam McOwen (fiddle). The artistic team is rounded out by Christopher Ostrom (Lighting Designer), Adam Johnson (Sound Designer), and Julie Tidemand (Props Master).

Compiled from the press release courtesy Stoneham Theatre (website | profile | tag archive).

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