Patsy Cline show makes

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 13, 2000

one-night stop Monday


Features Editor

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Oct. 12, 2000 10 PM

The hottest ticket in town is going, going, … so those who haven’t gotten their ticket to A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline don’t need to wait. The popular touring musical will make a one-night stop in Troy at 7:30 Monday, Oct. 16 at Troy State University’s Claudia Crosby Theater. Sponsors of the show, the Troy Council on the Arts and Humanities and TSU, are expecting a huge crowd for this performance.

Tickets should be available at the door, but those who don’t want to take a chance may purchase tickets at the banks in Troy and Brundidge, at WTBF Radio in downtown Troy or at TSU’s John M. Long School of Music. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

A Closer Walk with Pasty Cline traces the late star’s footsteps from her early honky-tonk days and radio fame through her rise at the Grand Ole Opry and triumphs at Carnegie Hall and Las Vegas.

The show comes to Troy fresh from a critically acclaimed 36-city North American tour and demonstrates Patsy Cline’s appeal to a broad variety of music fans. The musical features 21 of Patsy Cline’s greatest hits, including "Crazy" and "I Fall to Pieces." Acclaimed singer and actress Morgan Sturges performs the title role.

Sturges is a veteran musical theater entertainer with acclaimed stage credits in Chicago and New York theater as well as in regional theaters from Montana to Ohio and Colorado. She is also a popular cabaret artist familiar to Chicago audiences at Davenport’s and Gentry-on-Halsted.

She comes to the Southeastern tour from the blockbuster production of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at Denver’s Carousel Dinner Theater where the Rocky Mountain News wrote, "The show depends entirely on its star. And that’s where the directors made their most important decision – hiring Chicago actress Morgan Sturges in the lead role. An experienced musical theater actress, Sturges abandons every conceit of that style. She employs a gentle Southern accent and sings her songs without choreography or the acting out of lyrics. Just that voice. And Sturges has it. She matches her caramel alto precisely to Cline’s original phrases, which, after all, is what the crowd comes to hear."

The show is produced on tour by the Springer Theater, the official State Theater of Georgia, located in Columbus.

"A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline is one of the warmest happiest shows any theater is ever likely to present," said Springer artistic director Paul R. Pierce. "I’ve seen people swear up and down that they don’t like country music and then head straight for the record store after they’ve seen Patsy. Even hard-boiled jazz aficionados are surprised when they hear those flat fifths and diminished chords in many of Patsy Cline’s song. There are still a lot of folks out there who have no idea what an all-around musical stylist Patsy Cline really was. Far from being a twangy hillbilly singer, Patsy Cline’s voice and interpretive abilities are easily comparable to Judy Garland’s. Small wonder that this show has created so many new Patsy Cline fans – especially among young people who are just discovering the soul and spirit of this great American artist."

Editor’s note: A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline is not the same show that was performed recently at the Alabama Shakespeare Theater in Montgomery.