Folksinger Megon McDonough, who appeared in Northlight Theatre's 1994 revival of Quilters, returns to that Evanston, IL, theatre Dec. 4 when they open Ted Swindley's play with music, Always...Patsy Cline..
One of The Four Bitchin' Babes (along with Christine Lavin, Sally Fingerett and Debi Smith), McDonough has nine solo albums to her credit (including a new release of jazz and torch songs). In Chicago, McDonough has starred in Pump Boys And Dinettes at the Apollo and Beehive at Briar Street.
Appearing with her as friend and fan Louise is Sarah Underwood, who recently completed the national tour of Angels In America as Harper. Her Chicago credtis include Northlight's Smoke On The Mountain, Steppenwolf's Evelyn And The Polka King, and the Goodman's Cry, The Beloved Country.
With only these two characters, Always...Patsy Cline covers the hard-livin' life of the country songstress, who died in a plane crash in 1963. She's considered the first woman to cross over from country to pop music. Songs performed in this fictionalized bio include, "I Fall To Pieces," "Walkin' After Midnight," "Blue Moon Over Kentucky" and "Sweet Dreams" (later taken as the title for Jessica Lange's film biography of Cline).
Directing this production of Always...Patsy Cline is Brian Russell, whose credits at Northlight include the world premiere of Mark Twain And The Laughing River, as well as A Perfect Ganesh and the Jeff-nominted All In The Timing. Playwright J. Ted Swindley has directed and produced more than 200 shows in his 15-year career and has received the Los Angeles Dramalog Award for his work at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Costumes for Cline are by Nan Cibula-Jenkins, sound is by Bruce Holland, lighting by Emil Boulos, and settings by Todd Rosenthal.
Cline's ill-fated flight aside, the saddest part of this production is that Always will be the last production in Northlight's currrent home at Northwestern University's Barber Theatre in Evanston. The good news is that with their next show in March, Russell Vandenbroucke's Atomic Bombers, Northlight will be at their new space, the North Shore Center For The Performing Arts in Skokie.
For tickets ($21-$31) and information on Always...Patsy Cline, which runs to Jan. 5, 1997 at Northlight's Evanston address on Campus Drive, call (847) 869-7278.
-- By David Lefkowitz