Misty Rowe, a regular for 19 years on TV's wildly successful "Hee Haw," has yet another country music acting gig. She's currently finishing up a run, through April 25, in Always...Patsy Cline at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada, CA. Performances began April 9.
No, Rowe doesn't play Patsy, the country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash. She plays Louise Seger, a Texas housewife who started as Cline's fan/pen-pal and ended up becoming her friend. Jessica Welch plays Cline in the show.
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. Created and directed by Ted Swindley based on a biography of Cline by Ellis Nassour, 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 more than 50 theatres.
Actress 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, who portrayed Wendy the Car Hop for a year with Ron Howard on "Happy Days," has already 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 reopened on Broadway April 7, with Rigby in the lead role.
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is at 14900 La Mirada Blvd. Call (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310 for information. Next up at La Mirada, June 4-20, is Frank Loesser's Runyon-based musical, Guys and Dolls.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent
and David Lefkowitz