A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline

Those of you who know me (or my alter ego, Kate Austin), know how much I love Patsy Cline. I grew up listening to country music – Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash – and I still love, especially the songs I remember from my childhood.
In the last few years, I’ve become addicted to Patsy Cline. I love her voice, I love her choice of songs, I love the way she can go from rockin’ to tender to blowing away a ballad in a single album. I often wonder what would have happened, what she would have become, if she’d lived just a little longer.
I’ve just been to see A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, a play at the Arts Club Theatre here in Vancouver. And all I can say is WOW!
Honestly, it was as if I was at a concert in a small theatre with Patsy and her band. The woman who played Patsy, who was Patsy, Sara-Jeanne Hosie, made me believe that Patsy Cline was actually on that stage, making the transition of the sweet young country singer to the rockin’ blues singer to the sultry Las Vegas songstress with ease.
And she sang many of my favorite songs, though not my very favorite. I play the Heartaches CD over and over and over again and my favorite? You Belong to Me. I wish I could sing just so that I could sing that song the way Patsy does.
The play itself, written by Dean Regan and directed by Shane Snow, was beautifully crafted. The concept is that a radio station in Patsy’s home town – Winchester, Virginia – is doing a retrospective of her career. They begin with her early work, move on to Las Vegas, the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. As the play moves to the end, the announcer is talking about Patsy’s next album and wondering how far up the charts it can go. He gets a piece of paper containing a newsflash and reads of the storm and plane crash that killed Patsy. I’m willing to bet there wasn’t a single person in the audience with dry eyes at that point.
I know this play travels around, so if you’re a country fan, if you’re a Patsy fan, make sure you see it. You’re going to love it.
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