“Folks in the community who maybe aren’t Patsy fans are going to walk out of this room becoming new Patsy fans”
Article and images by Bill Hornbostel
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline kicks off the Capitol Theatre’s summer season, a musical show about the life and music of the legendary country singer whose life was cut short by a plane crash in 1963.
Rob Kempson, the Capitol’s Artistic Producer and director of this production, talks about what is special about A Closer Walk to the Capitol. “Patsy Cline crosses generations,” he says. “In a time when we’ve been forced to be apart for so long, coming back together I wanted to give folks a person that we could all gather together around, and I think Patsy does that.”
“What’s really exciting to me is that I started out long ago before I ever saw this play, not really knowing much about Patsy not really being a huge Patsy fan,” continues Kempson, “and I guarantee that those folks in the community who maybe aren’t Patsy fans are going to walk out of this room becoming new Patsy fans. You don’t have to know anything coming into the show, you certainly don’t have to know her music. And you’ll leave you’ll leave with a new playlist to begin.”
“For the summer shows,” adds Kempson, “a lot of people don’t realize that we make them all in-house. We hire a setting/costume designer, we hire a music director, we hire all the band, we hire all the actors, we rehearse it here, we build it here. We make all the costumes here, all of that stuff happens here in house, specifically for Capitol theater audiences.”
Michelle Bouey plays Patsy Cline in the production. Bouey talks about the role, saying, “Her music is so incredible, that was the first thing that drew me towards it. And then since then learning about her life and how amazing she was and how much he had accomplished at such a young age.”
Buoey adds, “The songs, I truly love each and every one of them, and I love the ballads, I feel so connected to them, and I love the up-tempos, I am having such a fun time.”
Tyler Murree plays disc jockey Little Big Man and the comics between sets. Reprising the role he first played at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Murree says, “I like putting on lots of different hats. It’s fun to play one role, and I’ve done that in plenty of theater productions and TV shows, but to get to change roles and change it up in the middle, in front of everyone, and play a bunch of different characters, it just it keeps it interesting.”
Jeff Newberry is the production’s Music Director, says, “What’s made this so much fun is the people who we’ve put together to do this show. And the musicians are so fabulous, and I get to play on stage live like it’s just really a cool opportunity.”
Anne Treusch, the set and costume designer, says, “This production in particular, we wanted to make very spectacular, so that everyone feels like they can come out of the pandemic and enjoy something really big and fun, have a good night out, leave feeling like you’re elated – the same feeling you feel when you go to like a concert.”
“All of the design concept came from that – high energy, really fun, and then a little bit of the vintage classic; the shape of the design is based off records,” Treusch adds.
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline will run through June 26 at the Capitol Theatre. For more information or to buy tickets, visit capitoltheatre.com or call 905-885-1071.
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