‘Always ... Patsy Cline’ is a hit at Pollard
The Pollard Theatre closes Season 31 with “Always ... Patsy Cline.” The show was presented a few seasons ago and the response was so enthusiastic that Pollard decided to put it on again.
Timothy Stewart returns to direct two incomparable actresses as Patsy Cline and her great friend and fan, Louise Seger. They are Kara Chapman as Miss Patsy Cline and Jodi Nestander as Seger.
The story is based on Cline’s life and career and comes from the lettersshe and Seger exchanged from 1961 to Cline's tragic death in an airplane crash in 1963.
In 1957 Seger heard Cline sing “Walking After Midnight,” her upcoming release on Decca records, on the Arthur Godfrey Show. Seger knew at that moment that Cline needed to be a hit, because she was singing the way Seger wanted to sing. Cline was not an immediate overnight success. She never lost her twang, she only gave it class. Chapman gives it the same class.
By 1961 she was on her way and Seger was well known by Hal Harris at KIKK Radio in Houston for her daily requests for Cline’s records. When Seger heard that Cline was going to be in town, she was determined to go to that gig.
Seger brought her boss and her boyfriend to the Honky Tonk location a little early. So did Cline, and when the two women met they realized they were destined to be friends. From that time until Cline’s death, they corresponded and every letter Seger received from Cline was signed "Love, Always ... Patsy Cline."
The two compared notes on love and marriage, children and men. Both women were quite voluble on the subject of men at their worst, and at their best. Cline had finally found the right man in Charlie Dick, but he wasn’t so easy to get along with and having an outlet in her friendship with Seger may have made a difference.
Stewart has brought this show back to standing ovation quality that must not be missed. Nestander is a wonderful actress who can sing melodiously. She plays a lady who understands Cline’s voice better than anyone else.
Chapman is a wonderful singer who can act truthfully. She plays a lady of great ambition who understands the lyrics of her songs and their appeal.
As a young man, Willie Nelson took his song “Crazy” to Cline because he knew she would know how to sing it. Seger knew it, too. That’s what Cline and Seger had in common. This is what Nestander and Chapman have in common, also, and it shows. Chapman has a voice that makes you think it is 1963 and Miss Patsy Cline is right there on that stage singing directly to you as if you were the only soul that understood her.
— Elizabeth Hurd, for The Oklahoman