(OCEAN GROVE, NJ) -- Asbury Park Theater Company (APTCo) presents Ted Swindley’s Always... Patsy Cline starring Emmy Award-winning actress Sally Struthers and Broadway’s Carter Calvert for nine performances from December 1-10, 2023 at The Palaia Theater inside Jersey Shore Arts Center in the neighboring town of Ocean Grove.
“We are so honored to welcome Sally as Louise Seger, the Texas housewife who befriended Patsy Cline at local honkytonk early in Cline’s career. We have been itching to get her back to the main stage since she was kind enough to host APTCo’s kickoff fundraiser, A Little Musical Night back in the Summer of 2019,” said William Whitefield, Producing Artistic Director of APTCo. “And no one does Patsy better than Carter. They are both perfect for these roles.”
“It’s great to be presenting this show in the beautiful Palaia Theater at JSAC, a perfect setting for this intimate production,” says Bob Angelini, APTCo’s Managing Director. “By hosting us, Jersey Shore Arts Center is helping us to achieve our goal of bringing professional level theater to Asbury Park and the surrounding area. They have parking, they’re located alongside downtown Asbury Park, and it’s only a short walk to the shops and restaurants of Ocean Grove.”
More than a tribute to the legendary country singer, Always... Patsy Cline balances down home country humor, heartache and the hit music that made Patsy Cline a household name. The show is based on a true story about the relationship between Patsy Cline and Houston housewife Louise Seger. The production features a live band on stage backing Calvert as she expertly sings dozens of Cline's hits including "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Anytime" and "Walking After Midnight."
Struthers established herself as part of television history on the famed sitcom All in the Family, winning Emmy Awards in 1972 and 1979 as Gloria, Archie, and Edith Bunker's only child. More recently, Struthers became a favorite of another generation starring as Babette Dell in Gilmore Girls. Struthers has played the role of Louise Seger on stage more than 900 times, and says about the show, "Patsy Cline's hit songs are brilliant and nearly everybody remembers them. It's hugely entertaining for everybody."
Struthers told the Los Angeles Daily News, "People don't know who Louise Seger was, so I can take the artistic license and play Louise the way I wish to play her. It is a wonderful chance for me to create a character that still says the lines that were written but do them the way I believe Louise must have felt in her heart about Patsy because she was just an over-the-top fan."
Calvert's credits include a Tony Award nomination on Broadway for It Ain't Nothing But The Blues, a European tour of Smokey Joe's Café and the lead role of Grizabella in the national tour of Cats. She has a critically acclaimed jazz album with the Roger Cohen Trio.
"I have been a fan of Patsy Cline since I was 7 years old," she told the Portland Press Herald. "My father was a big fan. We had a Ford Fairmont, and it had an 8-track player. He was always playing Charlie Pride or Loretta Lynn, but one day he brought home an 8-track tape of Patsy Cline's greatest hits."
The Asbury Park Theater Company's production of Always... Patsy Cline is directed by Jayme McDaniel, musically directed by Michael Gilch, features set design by Neil Prince and lighting design by Lyle Greene. The show is produced by Bob Angelini, William Whitefield, and Serena Soffer.
Always... Patsy Cline opens Friday, December 1st and performances continue through Sunday, December 10th with evening and matinee performances available. Limited quantities of premium tickets with reserved seating and general admission tickets with unreserved seating are on sale now.
(L to R) APTCo’s Producing Artistic Director William Whitefield, Emmy Award-winning actress Sally Struthers, APTCo’s Associate Producer Serena Soffer and APTCo’s Managing Director Bob Angelini after the theater company’s kickoff fundraiser, A Little Musical Night in August of 2019 (photo by John Michael Herr)
Prior to Always... Patsy Cline, the theater company will present APTCo’s Greatest Hits, a one- night concert on Saturday, October 28, also at The Palaia Theater at JSAC. The evening will feature the stars of past shows singing selections from Million Dollar Quartet, Green Day’s American Idiot and The Bikinis. Also appearing will be original cast members of the drama American Son as well as a surprise guest.
“With such great talent in our shows, a reunion concert is a no-brainer. We have had countless requests to bring these shows back.” says Whitefield. “We are so lucky to have such amazing performers as part of our family and we are so thankful they are willing to reprise some special musical and theatrical moments from these awesome shows. It will be a great night.”
The Palaia Theater is located inside the Jersey Shore Arts Center, 66. S. Main Street, Ocean Grove, NJ. Tickets for Always... Patsy Cline are $46 for general seating and $49 for reserved seating. Tickets for APTCo’s Greatest Hits are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the start of each show.
To learn more about Asbury Park Theater Company, and to purchase tickets for APTCo’s Greatest Hits concert and Always... Patsy Cline, visit www.asburyparktheatercompany.org.