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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

‘Patsy’ director’s dish on the production

‘Always...Patsy Cline’ opens tonight

Express Staff Writer

See the pyramids along the Nile, see Patsy Cline incarnate perform in Hailey. Well, at least part of that is do-able without much trouble.

Debra Wagoner and Danielle Kennedy star in "Always…Patsy Cline."

Opening tonight is the musical memoir "Always … Patsy Cline" starring Virginia-based actress Debra Wagoner as Patsy and Ketchum resident Danielle Kennedy as her pen pal Louise Seger. Company of Fools member John Glenn directs the nonstop fun.

The Company of Fools is presenting Ted Swindley’s play from Wednesday, June 23, through Sunday, July 11, at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey. The production moves to the Colonial Theatre in Idaho Falls from Thursday, July 15, through Saturday, July 17.

All shows in Hailey begin at 8 p.m., except the July 4 show, which is at 7 p.m.

The Fools first presented this show a year ago to great acclaim.

"People came back two and three items during the first run," Fools Musical Director R. L. Rowsey said.

Of course, both actresses are reprising their roles, as are the original band members. They are based on the actual Cline band, otherwise known as the Bodacious Bobcats.

The band includes Rowsey on piano, Dawson Howard on bass, Michael White on guitar, Joe Spencer on drums and Sarah Kowitz on fiddle and mandolin.

The only difference is "our band is a little larger this time since our fiddle player is with child," Rowsey laughed in reference to Kowitz.

Twenty-seven songs, including "I Fall to Pieces," "Crazy," "Back in Baby's Arms" "You Belong to Me," and "She's Got You," are featured.

Remounting the show still takes some work, Glenn said. Kennedy is rediscovering Louise Seger, whose letters to and from Cline are the inspiration for the show.

"She has such joie de vivre," Glenn said about Kennedy. "Such enthusiasm for life and she is so sincere and so there. For Louise this was a huge thing in her life. Here’s this 50-something woman remembering back to what was maybe the best time in her life."

Wagoner, who flew in Wednesday from a vacation in Las Vegas with her husband, is "rereading her Patsy bio," Glenn said. This production marks the fourth time Wagoner has played Patsy.

"This woman was truly loved," Glenn continued.

"It’s fun to little by little reintroduce ourselves to the piece."

Since the same people, from top to bottom, are doing the show, the rehearsals are about "just getting back on our feet, and tweaking a few things," Glenn said. "We get to dot the i’s and cross the t’s."

Rowsey said the band is trying some new stuff, too. "They keep saying ‘I wanted to try this last year and see if this would fit.’"

Glenn and Rowsey have just returned from a whirlwind week of nonstop theater viewing in New York. Re-energized, they were thrilled to find that most of the tickets sold already for the run of "Always" were to people from out of state.

"It means people are going to see what’s happening in the valley by calling the chambers of commerce and looking online," Rowsey said. "Everyone assumes people only come here because we have a pretty face, but it’s really becoming more than that."

Special café seating up front is offered again, as is a new "10 for 10" program. Ten front row seats will be sold for $10 each on each night of each performance at 7 p.m. at the box office.

"This way we are guaranteeing it’s affordable and open to everyone," Rowsey said. Tonight’s show is a "Pay-What-You-Can-Preview."

Also, "Fools Unplugged," the artist audience encounter, will follow each Sunday performance.

Tickets are available at www.ticketweb.com, www.companyoffools.org or by calling 578-9122.


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