Springer Theatricals’ tour of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” will stop at Freed-Hardeman University Feb. 25. Freed-Hardeman and the Henderson Arts Commission are cosponsoring the production, which highlights 21 of Patsy Cline’s most celebrated crossover hits. The evening is designed to be an overall celebration of Henderson art, and local artists’ work will be displayed in the lobby of the auditorium. The featured performer, Katie Deal, is the leading Patsy Cline interpreter in the nation. Described by Springer Theatricals as “gutsy and sassy as Patsy herself,” the show is expected to be well-attended.
Patsy Cline launched her musical career in 1955, but none of her initial releases gained her notable success. Then in 1957, Cline auditioned and was accepted for CBS’s Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. Her performance of “Walkin’ After Midnight” won the competition, prompting Cline to release the song as a single. It eventually reached No. 2 on country charts and No. 12 on pop charts, making Cline one of the first country performers to have a crossover pop hit. Cline signed with Decca Records in Nashville, Tenn. in 1960, and her first release under the new label, “I Fall to Pieces” reached No. 1 on the country charts, No. 12 on the pop charts and No. 6 on the adult contemporary charts. As her fame grew in subsequent years, she joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry and was the first woman in country music to perform at Carnegie Hall in N.Y. and headline her own show in Las Vegas, Nev. Two further studio albums, Patsy Cline Showcase in 1961 and Sentimentally Yours in 1962, solidified her place as a country music crossover legend.
Springer Theatricals is a self-contained national touring unit associated with Springer Opera House, located in Columbus, Ga. In addition to national tours, the Springer Opera House produces mainstage, studio, and children’s theater and houses a theatre academy with more than 700 students. Past tours include such titles as “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Honky Tonk Angels,” and “My Way: Sinatra Tribute.”
Tickets are $10 for reserved seating and free to FHU students, faculty and staff and Henderson Arts Commission members. Tickets are available online at FHUTickets.com. For discounted group rates, call 731-989-6938.