Who says one town ain't big enuf for two Patsy Cline musicals? Just because Always. . . Patsy Cline is in an open run at Off-Broadway's Variety Arts Theatre doesn't mean another entertainment about the great, short-lived country singer can't find a way to local stages. It's Honky Tonk Angel, and it's receiving a one-hour reading, Sept. 30, at a midtown Manhattan Theatre.
Directing the Honky Tonk Angel reading is Randy Skinner, who co staged Broadway's State Fair. Sally Mayes, who starred in Welcome To The Club and She Loves Me stars as Cline. Her co-stars include Susan Mansur (Ruthless!), Bryan D'Arcy James (Titanic, Floyd Collins), Tina Johnson, Don Stephenson, Kerry O'Malley, Sean McCourt and Emily Loesser (Swingtime Canteen).
Ellis Nassour (a writer for Playbill magazine) wrote the libretto for Honky Tonk Angel and co-wrote, with George Leonard, its original songs. Both shows also feature songs Cline made famous, such as "I Fall To Pieces" and "Crazy."
A Playbill On-Line reader wrote in to point out that there's a third Patsy Cline musical. It's A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline by Dean Regan, and it's been playing for half a year at North Star Theatre in Mandeville, LA.
Oh, and one more bit of Cline news: Always...Patsy Cline, now in its third year at the Denver Center in Colorado, will get a new Louise, Cindy Summers. She replaces Beth Flynn to play opposite Melissa Swfit-Sawyer's Cline. --By David Lefkowitz