Emily Herring and Celeste (Lessie) Burnum are returning to the Virginia Samford Theatre Mainstage as Patsy Cline and Louise Seger in Always…Patsy Cline along with director Norton Dill. These three first brought the show to the Virginia Samford Theatre in 2011. Find out how to win tickets or buy them now.
Always…Patsy Cline opens at the Virginia Samford Theatre Mainstage on June 13 and runs through June 30. This show highlights the life of famous country singer Patsy Cline and her friendship with avid fan, Louise Seger.
Always…Patsy Cline is a hilarious and heart-wrenching show that is sure to have every person listening to Patsy Cline songs on the way home!
The Virginia Samford Theatre first put on this show in 2011 and this year’s revival includes the original cast and director. Buy your tickets now!
Bham Now had the opportunity to interview the 2-person cast and director to find out more about the show.
Bham Now: Why should people come see this show?
Burnum: People go wild for this show. It is so much fun and the music is so wonderful. It has a live band and there are a lot of Patsy fans that come out of the woodworks.
Herring: The balance of Patsy’s heart-wrenching, soulful singing, soulful crying in her voice and [Louise’s] comedy make a really interesting dynamic.
Burnum: They really come to care about each other.
Dill: It’s an old-school kind of thing and it’s nostalgic and it’s a story about a musical giant. Even if you weren’t a huge country music fan, you still knew who Patsy Cline was … It’s good music, both of the actresses are phenomenal and it’s just a really nice evening of entertainment.
Bham Now: What has changed since you did the show the first time?
Herring: The good thing is, we know each other better and we’re remembering the fun we had then and now it’s more fun because we’ve known each other for eight years.
Burnum: We’re also creating new moments that weren’t in the first show, which is very difficult because when you have something so much in your bones, it’s hard to replace it with a new moment.
Herring: We can draw more from our personal relationship and experience, whereas before we had just met each other and it was still funny, but now I think we’re more comfortable with each other.
Dill: I think all of us are more seasoned now. The longer you’re on the stage, the more comfortable you feel and the more insight you have into what you can do to communicate with the audience. Doing a theatre production like this isn’t just a matter of saying the lines and singing the songs …..there’s such a connection with the audience that these ladies have and I think that’s something that you gain through experience.
Bham Now: What is your favorite part of the show?
Herring: There are two songs, but one’s a medley, that I look forward to singing and that is ‘Lovesick Blues’ because I get to yodel, which is super fun and it’s upbeat and entertaining … and ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘She’s Got You,’ which is the medley.
Burnum: I love it because of who the character Louise is … and because of what happens to her, the friendship between [Louise] and Patsy, the biggest star to her in the world, her favorite singer … and I love it because the audience has so much fun, they love to hear Patsy sing … I love listening to Emily sing, I have fallen in love with her voice. She is a beautiful singer and it is a pleasure for me to sit there and listen to her, as a character and as myself.
Bham Now: How do you connect personally with your character?
Herring: I’m southern. I love to sing dramatic ballads and rock-n-roll. I’ve had my heart broken a lot of times and her music heals me as it did her … Patsy Cline is a classy country gal who sings from the depth of her soul, on the verge of tears.
Burnum: I’d say there is a part of me that is that outlandish, outgoing person. There’s a bigger part of me that’s shy that people don’t really know and Louise allows me to become more of that part that’s confident and bold. I grew up in Tuscaloosa with a group of girls, and we were so goofy … we would dress up in our mother’s nightgowns and go to Waffle House at two in the morning, dressed up. That is the part of me and my personal history that I love and Louise would have fit in perfectly with all the stuff we did.
Bham Now: How will this show make people feel?
Burnum: Happy, sad.
Herring: They’re laughing so hard … It’s entertaining.
Burnum: Extremely entertaining, and they go through what happens in Patsy’s life too, but then it pulls back to the joy. That’s the thing, it makes people feel joyful.
Herring: People know Patsy for her music, they don’t necessarily know her life and who she was as a person … so we wrap all of that up with a bow. It’s getting to know who Patsy was beyond the singing.
We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to Bham Now’s newsletter subscribers in this Thursday’s newsletters! Haven’t signed up yet? No problem. Sign up right here. It’s free! We will announce the winners in Monday’s newsletter.
Always…Patsy Cline will be running at the Virginia Samford Theatre Mainstage from June 13 to June 30. For more information, click HERE.