Portal Players Dramatic Society is thrilled to open its new season of plays with “A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline” beginning Friday, Nov. 6. at the Capitol Theatre.
This family-friendly musical production was written by Dean Regan. It was originally conceived and performed at The Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver, and is one of only two musical productions showcasing the late Patsy Cline’s story and music that is sanctioned by her estate.
Featuring a wide range of Port Alberni talent, local singer Kerri Shannon leads the cast, performing the role of Patsy Cline.
“We are so lucky to have found Kerri,” said Peter Wienold, director of the show. “Kerri brings an emotional depth of character to the part that truly resonates with people. She’s going to be a real crowd pleaser.”
Backing Shannon up is a harmonious quartet of singers, including Marina Connah, Mike Villette, Brent Ronning, and vocal director Colleen Noiles Brooks —whose husband Craig Brooks plays the part of radio DJ Little Big Man, along with some comic relief.
It’s Little Big Man’s radio program, a tribute to Patsy Cline’s music, that takes us through the journey of the show.
A five-piece band brings the music together, including all of the well-known Patsy Cline hits. The band features musical director and lead guitarist Dennis Olsen, fiddle player Anna Lewis, Guy Langlois on stand-up bass, Rick Smith on drums, and pianist William Frew.
“This production has been months in the making,” Wienold said.
“The team has worked incredibly hard since the summer to put on another professional-level show in our community theatre. Local and visiting audiences will be well-entertained, and many are likely to return for another listen.”
Co-director is local musician Denis Levasseur. Denis’ wife, Suzanne, is the show’s producer.
Costuming has been deftly handled by Heather Maloney and Marina Connah, while lighting design is being expertly crafted by Diena Tyne. In the background, stage manager Terry Switzer makes sure everyone stays in line and on track with his stage crew team.
“A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” runs the first three weekends of November on Friday and Saturday nights, starting Nov. 6.
There are also two Sunday matinees, on Nov. 15 and 22.