Patsy Cline fans who “Fall To Pieces” over her music, and even those not as familiar with the iconic singer, will be “Crazy” about “Always … Patsy Cline,” opening October 7 at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts.
The musical is based on a true story of the friendship between Patsy, played by Maggy Norden, who sang some of the most recognizable songs in American music history, and her devoted fans.
After a successful off-Broadway run, “Always … Patsy Cline” has been performed throughout the U.S. and the world, becoming one of this country’s most produced musicals.
Gail Westerfield, who also directs the play, narrates as Louise Seger, a Texas housewife who meets her idol at a honky tonk in 1961, just two years before Patsy’s tragic death in a plane crash at age 30.
The show spotlights the songs that made Patsy made famous, as well as the personal story behind the songs. Norden sings 25 songs, from “I Fall to Pieces,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Crazy” to her lesser-known recordings, all to the accompaniment of a live band.
Not only does Norden look and sound remarkably similar to Patsy in the play, they had some interesting things in common in real life. “I learned in my research for the role that neither of us can read music or even know what key we sing in! Patsy started singing when she was 4 years old and had no formal training, and I haven’t either. But I’ve always been a singer: My mother told me I was humming when I was just nine months old.”
Though she doesn’t consider herself “a strict country music fan,” Norden said she has “always loved Patsy’s voice, and like Louise’s character says in the play, Patsy sang the way I’ve always wanted to sing.”
Norden and Westerfield met when Norden was cast in Westerfield’s production of “Talking With …” at ARTworks in 2010. They also appeared together in ARTworks’ production of “Steel Magnolias.”
“You don’t have to be a country music fan to love Patsy,” Westerfield added. “Patsy’s voice and style were so unique and beautiful, and Maggy is just brilliant. I get goose bumps every time I hear her, and audiences will, too!”
If you go
“Always … Patsy Cline” will be performed October 7, 8, 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m. with one matinee on Sunday, October 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for youth. Group rates are available. For tickets and additional information, call the box office, 843-521-4145, Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Center for the Arts is located at 801 Carteret Street, Beaufort.