Ted Swindley’s Always…Patsy Cline demands a tremendous amount from its lead actress, who is asked to deliver the humble glamour of the legendary recording artist with little to no way of formal introduction. We are introduced to her in a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
Directed by Sandy Ernst, the Milwaukee Rep’s production of the musical casts Kelley Faulkner in the lead role of Cline, who stood above many singers of her time with the rich depth of her voice. Faulkner is paired with Angela Iannone, who makes use of a believable Southern accent to enhance her role as Louise Seger, one of Cline’s biggest fans.
Faulkner is very appealing in the role, but it is nearly impossible for a live performance to match the old recordings of “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces,” iconic songs that have a haunting quality to them. Not that it isn’t fun to listen to these songs one more time, but serious fans of Cline are unlikely to get too much out of the show. For most viewers, though, the appeal of the songs and Faulkner’s performance are strong enough to please.
The Milwaukee Rep’s production of Always… Patsy Cline has been extended through May 20 at the Stackner Cabaret. For ticket reservations, call 414-224-9490.