Review: Patsy Cline: A Life in Concert

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

If ever it could be said that an actor/playwright was in love with the subject of her play, you could say that Melissa Kenney Shepherd is in love with Patsy Cline.

Shepherd loves Cline’s music and her style, her spunk and her spirit. And through her original one-woman show, Pasty Cline: A Life in Concert, she shares that love with her audience.

Throughout the show, Shepherd mixes personal tidbits – how she sang Patsy Cline songs in the car with her father (who happened to be in the audience the night I saw the show) and her first conversation with Patsy’s husband, Charlie Dick, when she was working on the show and wanted to make sure what she did had the blessing of Patsy’s estate – with stories about Patsy herself.

Shepherd herself is such a strong performer that when she sings “I Fall to Pieces,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Bill Bailey” or anything else, she leaves the audience wanting more.

Shepherd has performed this show across the United States, and it is easy to see why it is in such demand. It’s fun, and offers something for everyone – even if you’re not a fan of country music. She nearly sold out her entire four-show run with CenterStage, and I believe, she could have sold out four more – deservedly so.

Kudos also to the band: Chris Bryant on piano, Doug Payne on guitar, Ben Moser on bass and Mike Horvath on drums.

Next up at CenterStage: Curtains by Kander and Ebb, the creators of Cabaret and Chicago. See story in CenterPiece.

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