Writer-director Ted Swindell has cast Jessica Welch as the late superstar Patsy Cline in McCoy Rigby Entertainment's production of Always...Patsy Cline opening April 9 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada, CA. The run is through April 25.
Famous for such songs as "Walkin' After Midnight," "I Fell to Pieces," "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Crazy," Patsy Cline was one of country music's most beloved female singers. Successful as she was, she still found the time for a Texas housewife named Louise Seger (played by Misty Rowe). The two went from pen pals to fast friends, a relationship that lasted until Cline's untimely death at age 30 in a plane crash.
Created and directed by Swindley, Always...Patsy Cline was one of the top ten shows produced across the country in 1998. Swindley has directed and produced over 200 plays and musicals, and has directed Always...Patsy Cline in over 50 theatres.
Welch is a native of Arkansas who has portrayed Patsy in 38 states. She recently finished a Barter Theatre production of Swindley's new musical The Honky Tonk Angels. She is a well known cabaret singer.
Rowe portrayed Wendy the Car Hop for a year with Ron Howard on "Happy Days" and was a regular for 19 years on "Hee Haw." She has performed Always...Patsy Cline in Branson, Missouri, West Virginia and New York. The production team of Tim McCoy and Cathy Rigby has won numerous awards for its recent productions of Once on This Island and Peter Pan. The latter musical is playing on Broadway, with Rigby in the lead role.
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is at 14900 La Mirada Blvd. Call (562) 944-9701 or (714) 994-6310 for information.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent