Highly Recommended ***** Happy Holidays! TheoUbique, that sterling little Cabaret/Theater located in Rogers Park, has done it again. They have put together a sparkling production of “Always…Patsy Cline”, a touching story of the relationship between a budding Country-Western star and one of her fans. This play opened during the week when I was having my eye surgery (cataract-left eye) and then due to the right eye, the following week and then my holiday duties in the red suit, I was sure that I had missed it. But, lo and behold, due to the tremendous response, Fred and his brood were able to extend the show through January 31st, allowing me to be able to see this warm-hearted story and report it back to you. Thank you, TheoUbiique!
Patsy Cline (played to perfection in this intimate production by the talented Christina Hall) was a Country Western rising star back in the late 50’s, early 60’s when she was able to cross over from just Country Western to mainstream audiences. Her songs and the way she performed them are very well remembered “Crazy”, “Sweet Dreams”, “You’re Cheatin’ Heart”, “I Fall To Pieces” and many more. This production , almost two hours in length is filled with over 20 of some wonderful toe tapping music.
The book of the story, written by Ted Swindley, tells the tale of a divorcee, Louise Seger (the incredible and adorable Danni Smith) and how she falls in love with the music and the woman behind the music, becoming a huge fan and the special relationship that came to be when Patsy came to Houston for a concert and Louise and her “buds” went to see her favorite performer. It is a magical moment for both women and for the audience at the intimate space on Glenwood, known as TheoUbique at The No Exit Cafe, the perfect night out.
I must tell you that this is one of my favorite storefront theaters in Chicago. I remember this location from my youth when it was the No Exit Cafe and more of a “coffee shop” (before we had what we now call “coffee Shops”) where Hippies hung out. This is the perfect spot to see this marvelous production. The restaurant/theater has been transformed into a small concert hall and Louise’s kitchen (cleverly designed by Adam Veness) with some special lighting effects (Maya Michele Fein) that allows every section of the intimate, multi level space to be used by the two actresses, and the props (Mary-Katherine Mikalayunas) and the costumes (Bill Morey) are the icing on the cake.
The five piece band, The Bodacious Bobcats, directed by Aaron Benham (musical director) are onstage and part of the action as they play the toe tapping music that will surely involve each and every audience member and you may even be the person picked to have a dance with Louise during Patsy’s Houston appearance ( lucky you, if you are).
This is one that I suggest you find a way to get to see. It is a wonderful story about a talent that left our world way before her time (she died in a plane crash in 1963 at the age of 30). While the story is about Patsy Cline, in reality, it is about the woman who became her soul mate, Louise and I guarantee you will fall in love with her through the portrayal by Danni Smith. This being TheoUbique, it is more than likely Danni will also take care of your dining pleasure (dinners are available, as always) or your drink. The show will continue through January 31st with performances as follows:
Thursdays 7:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 7 p.m.
Tickets $29-$34 ( dinner $25 additional BUT must have prior reservations) can be ordered by calling 800-595-4849 or online at www.theo-u.org
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Always…Patsy Cline”.
Parking is a bit of a problem, so I always suggest to take the Red Line and get off at Morse Avenue, a short walk to No Exit Cafe, where the action is.