Mac-Hayden Theater In Chatham NY Honors The Spirit and Music of Patsy Cline
The Mac-Hayden Theater in Chatham is presenting “Always…Pasty Cline” now through September 18. The show captures an era of Country Music that is quickly being forgotten with humor, class and that notable Pasty Cline sass.
Rhnea Wright plays the role of Patsy’s No. 1 fan, Louise, the stereotypical over-the-top Country Music fan, who would give anything to meet her favorite singer. Shockingly, Patsy, played by Jacqueline Petroccia, forms a bond with the crazy outspoken twangy Texan. The two have quite the comical combination, reminding me of Reba and Barbara Jean from the Reba television show. Little did they know, but this friendship would help preserve Pasty Cline’s legacy forever. The musical is based on real letters and memories shared between the two friends, with Louise telling us the story of the thirty year old star that died too soon.
The Mac-Hayden theater, with it’s unique in-the-round setting, and rustic character made it the perfect backdrop for a Grand Ole Opry Show. In addition to the humorous story, delivered in perfect Texas trailer-park twang by Rhnea, Petroccia gives us a near-perfect performance of what Pasty Cline would have sounded like in concert. There were times in the show, when I imagined that I really was watching Pasty Cline on the Opry- feeling like this was the way it would have exactly sounded or looked.
The little country band, dressed in Roy Rogers like cowboy attire, backed the powerhouse vocals presenting the ultimate classic country catalogue on-stage. Of course, ‘Crazy’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘Walking After Midnight’ filled the set-list, but fans will also hear Patsy belt out Hank Williams’ ‘Lovesick Blues’ and ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart,’ Bill Monroe’s ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky,’ and Kitty Wells’ ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.’ I was so happy to hear these songs again, making me somewhat sad that this style of music is pretty much lost, but yet happy to know it will be forever remembered in great productions like this.
Now, for those of you who didn’t grow up on Country Music, and may not be familiar with some of the names I’ve listed in this article, I encourage you to attend the show to better appreciate the Country Music genre. As you watch the show, think about today’s modern female stars like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, and wonder if they would have befriended a fan this closely, played a honky tonk for $300 a night in their prime, or would have sounded so good without modern technology.
Get out, have some fun and enjoy a trip back in time at the Mac-Hayden Theater through September 18. You’ll leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart! Props to the entire cast and crew for producing a great musical tribute to Patsy Cline and representing Classic Country Music with class and pride!
Call 518-392-9292 for information and reservations.