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ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE

By • Sep 23rd, 2000 •

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At the Silverton Casino Showroom

It’s hard to believe that Patsy Cline was only 30 years old when she died in a tragic airplane crash near Camden, Tennessee on March 5,1963. Despite her youthfulness, she had already cut over 100 tracks for Decca Records. Yet, now embodied in a truly remarkable musical performance, Always . . . Patsy Cline, her legacy as a country artist lives on. Cleverly written by Ted Swindley, this production provides a venue for a unique juxtaposition of comedy, drama, and the epitome of classic country music. The storyline is reportedly based on the truth.

Always . . . Patsy Cline stars Sally Struthers, best known for her role as Gloria Stivic in the long-running television comedy All in the Family. I wondered how Struthers could be featured in a program based on country music. The answer is: amazingly well. And, by the way, she really can sing, though that is not her key role in this show. Sally plays Patsy’s friend Louise Seger, who provides continuity and artfully guides the audience through a tour that is an auditory feast of the repertoire of the original Patsy Cline. The pieces ranged from ‘Anytime’, ‘It wasn’t God who Made Honky Tonk Angels’, ‘Your Cheating Heart’, to a lullaby, ‘If I could See the World Through the Eyes of a Child.’

Sally also proved that she is still a consummate comedian and knows how to work the audience. With no apologies for her current womanly-plus size, Sally actively cavorts about the stage and encourages your participation. Actually, most of the crowd was already tapping along with the Bodacious Bobcat Band which admirably supports the show.

Due to strep throat, understudy Christy Mauro-Cohen replaced the lead singer, Rachel Ricca. This was, in my opinion, a stroke of luck for Mauro-Cohen. It was a media night and the audience was packed with the press. Mauro-Cohen’s performance was nothing short of spectacular. Closely watching her interaction with Struthers, it was impossible to tell that this performance was from an understudy. Together they did not miss a beat. From rock favorites such as ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’, to Patsy Cline’s theme song, ‘Crazy’, Miss Mauro-Cohen so accurately portrayed the songs that you could close your eyes and envision the original performances. However, she was also made up to closely resemble the real Patsy Cline.

The audience, clearly not the rap set, was enthralled by the show and especially the exquisite performance of Mauro-Cohen. It was best put by a comment I overheard as we were leaving the theater. A young lady walking just in front of me turned to a friend and said: “How could it have been any better!?” I’m sure a great many would agree with that statement.

The show is currently at the Silverton Hotel and Casino, 333 Blue Diamond Road, which is a few miles south of the famous Las Vegas Strip. The Silverton sponsored a reception afterwards for the media that is worthy of comment. In fact, it was befitting of recent events hosted by the upscale hotels of the Strip. From shrimp and sushi to chef-prepared pasta and a sumptuous dessert table, everything was tastefully provided. Though I assure you, it merely added to the enjoyment of the evening. Always…Patsy Cline had already captured my vote.

An unofficial spokesman for the Silverton joined us at our table. He was Larry Adams of Laguna Hills, California. Assuming he was from the press, I made the mistake of asking what publication he worked for. It turns out that the Silverton invited him, as he was one of their big slot machine winners last year. Larry modestly acknowledged that it was his second major jackpot. The first had been six years earlier in Laughlin, Nevada. Intrigued as to what one would do with winnings near seven digits, I asked how his life had changed. With obligatory comments about the immediacy of the IRS he went on to prove that nice guys do win. He said he used the money to fix up his mother’s home, and even helped his ex-wife with her house. (How many would do that?) He has yet to but a new car and still goes to work repairing electronic equipment most every day. As he put it, he really likes his job.

While the Silverton is a short ride from The Strip, I highly recommend the trip to see Always…Patsy Cline. Information is available at www.silvertoncasino.com or 1-800-588-7711. Tickets are priced at a modest $27.95. Also, this show does travel. If you can’t get to Las Vegas (although I recommend it) watch for the show in your area.

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