America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Walnut Street Theatre Celebrates Country Music's Biggest Star With ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE! Now - July 3

April 25, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre’s 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 season concludes with a musical celebration of the American country and pop legend, Patsy Cline, with ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE. Directed by Debi Marcucci, the production begins with previews on April 5th, opens on April 7th and continues through July 3rd in the Walnut’s Independence Studio on 3.

One day a voice from the television screen spoke to her. Louise Seger was hooked. Making a special trip to a honky-tonk bar in Houston, Texas, Louise met her idol, Patsy Cline. Here was a woman that gave her soul a voice. Over a pot of strong coffee, a friendship began that would last until Patsy's untimely death in 1963. Through letters and visits, the two share the homespun stories of laughter and heartache that brought together a housewife and a legendary country singer. This fun-loving, crowd-pleasing musical features 27 classic songs, including "Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams," "Back In Baby's Arms" and more.

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in 1932, Patsy Cline was one of the most acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century. With roots deep in country music, her sound successfully crossed-over to pop music. In 1957, one of her numerous hits “Walkin’ After Midnight” reached Number 2 on the county music chart and Number 16 on the pop music chart. This was the song that she performed on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts show, which eventually led to becoming a regular performer at the Grand Ole Opry. Cline was at the top of her career when she died tragically in a plane crash in 1963 at the age of 30. Her legacy and popularity remain strong with millions of albums continuing to sell today. The album, Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits was released in 1967 and broke the world record for the most weeks on the US Charts for any album by a female artist. The album remained on the charts for 722 weeks, taking the number one spot for 251 weeks. In 1973, she posthumously became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in 2002, she was voted Number 1 on Country Music Television’s The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music.

ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE was created by Ted Swindley. The show debuted in 1988 at the Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Texas, where Swindley was the Founding Artistic Director. Through his research for the development of the musical, he found an interview with Louise Seger in a biography about Cline that struck his interest. He was inspired by a letter the singer wrote to a Texas housewife, which was kind-hearted and sincere; similar tones that attracted fans to her music. The first version of ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE, a 45-minute cabaret, was an audience pleaser. In 1990, Swindley created the full-length version, which premiered in South Carolina. The show premiered Off-Broadway in 1997 and had a very successful run. The show has since been produced nationally, and in Australia, the United Kingdom and London.

South Philadelphia native Debi Marcucci will direct ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE. Marcucci is the Stage Manager for the Walnut’s Mainstage, a position she has held for 18 years. She previously directed the hit show Lobby Hero in Walnut’s Studio 3, as well as Mr. Baily’s Minder and The Ugly One. Her credits also include No Way To Treat A Lady (Alpine Theatre Project) and Assistant Director for Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, and Good People at the Walnut. Billy Thompson will join Marcucci as Music and Vocal Director and Pianist. This is the first time the award-winning composer has worked with the Walnut. He is currently a resident artist with Cygnet Theatre Company and Alpine Theatre Project. Spiff Wiegand will take the stage with Thompson to play multiple instruments, including fiddle, guitars, electric bass, snare and hi-hat. Some he’ll play two at a time!

Jenny Lee Stern returns to the Walnut as Patsy Cline, having appeared as Liz Imbre in High Society on the Mainstage earlier this season. She has been seen on Broadway in Rocky and A Christmas Story, and Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking. Nationally, she has toured with Jersey Boys. Additional Walnut credits include West Side Story, Lobby Hero, Godspell and 42nd Street. Denise Whelan returns to the Walnut as Louise Seger. Whelan was last seen at the Walnut in the Independence Studio on 3 in Irvin Berlin’s I Love a Piano. Walnut audiences will remember her performances in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Man of La Mancha, Good People, Curtains and Windy City. Regionally, Whelan has performed with the Arden Theatre and Fulton Opera House.

Glen Sears’ set design will welcome audiences to the heart of America in the 1960s. In the intimacy of the Independence Studio on 3, audiences will feel as if they’re in the kitchen with Patsy and Louise as their friendship grows, and at the Grand Ole Opry during Patsy’s concerts. Costume Designer Mark Mariani returns, having most recently designed Harvey on the Mainstage. Lighting Designer Troy O’Shia and Sound Designer John Kolbinski make their Walnut debuts with this production.

Season sponsor for the 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35-$40 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 215-336-1234. Tickets are also available at or