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Review: Patsy Cline performance warm, genuine

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Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 3:03 pm | Updated: 1:28 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS - Good music, good laughter and good friendship set the tone for Barney and Diane McClure’s latest musical venture.

“Always … Patsy Cline,” is intimate, hilarious and best of all, rich with the sweetly Southern and soulful country ballads of Patsy Cline.

The play could bring even the harshest oldtime country music critics to tears with laughter and an appreciation for Cline’s musical career.

Theresa Bauer-Berger, as Patsy Cline, and Janelle Sweeny as her friend Louise Seger play the leading ladies of the musical production.

The pair pulled the audience right up to the kitchen table, poured them a cup of coffee and chatted like everyone was a longtime friend.

The chemistry between the two women on stage makes the show. Bauer-Berger’s perfectly pitched singing contrasted with Sweeny’s hilarious depiction of a lively Texas housewife is engaging and downright hysterical. She is an animated storyteller who shares the story of the two women with help of the musicians and the audience, tying in witty one-liners throughout her dialogue and poking fun at the silliness of the 1950s.

The music will make audience members long for an era some might never have been a part of, with re-creations of the Grand Ole Opry and swanky honkytonk bars where Cline’s short music career first took off.

Bauer-Berger’s voice is stunning. She nailed Cline’s unique pitches and tones as she covers classics like “Back in Baby’s Arms” and “Crazy,” to the Hank Williams favorite “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

Her costume changes are a production in themselves, as her character shows off almost 30 glitzy, fringe-covered outfits spanning the five years Cline performed.

Sweeny and BauerBerger’s performances bring a new energy to the friendship of Patsy and Louise, touching on the challenges many housewives faced in the 1950s and the tragedy that brought Cline’s career to an early ending in 1963.

“Always...Patsy Cline,” continues this weekend at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are available at Grassroots Guitar or by calling 479-4709.

Contact features writer Rebecca George at 459-7504.

THEATER REVIEW

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