March 30 – April 30, 2023
GK Hardt Theater
Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley based on a true story.
Starring Shannon Rider and Liz Jahren
“…a loving testament not only to the everlasting bonds of friendship but also a moving tribute to one of the most iconic voices of the 20th century.” —AroundtheTownChicago.com
Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to Patsy who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. Based on true events, it gives you an inside look at her personal life through her enduring friendship with an adoring fan—a friendship that started in a Texas honky-tonk in l961 and continued until Patsy’s death.
This musical play, complete with down-home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as “Crazy”, “I Fall to Pieces”, “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking After Midnight”—27 songs in all.
The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s numerous letters, which she signed “Love ALWAYS…Patsy Cline.”
Rustle up your seats SOON! Judging from early sales, this is sure to be an audience favorite!
In The News
Based on a true story, Always . . . Patsy Cline recalls music legend Patsy Cline and her real-life friendship with a dotting fan, Louise Seger.
The story begins with Louise sitting at her kitchen table. She confesses she would call into her local radio station nearly every day to request a Patsy Cline song. During one of those requests, the station DJ mentions to Louise that Patsy will be performing in Louise’s hometown that night.
At that night’s performance, Louise arrives at the dance hall early and meets Patsy Cline. The two become fast friends, and Patsy even lets Louise join her on stage. Patsy performs her show, singing hits such as “Walkin’ after Midnight,” “Crazy,” and “I Fall to Pieces.”
After a full evening together, Louise drops Patsy off at the airport and they promise to keep in touch. They do, exchanging letters for several years. Louise finally describes hearing an announcement, years later, that Patsy Cline died in a plane crash. The show ends with Patsy returning to the stage and singing farewell songs with Louise.
Shannon Rider (Patsy Cline) is a Santa Rosa native who has performed on many Northern California stages over the years. At 6th Street Playhouse, Shannon played Morticia in The Addams Family Musical, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show, Audrey in Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Maureen in Rent and Lin in The Great American Trailer Park Musical. You may also have seen her in concert with The Shannon Rider Band or with Miss Kitty & The Big Dogs, Rider & Sons or The Livin’ Daylights! Shannon is grateful to have the opportunity to play this dream role and dedicates this performance to her beautiful mother for her strength and unending support, and to her grandmother, Mary, who would come see her band play, put $5 in the tip jar and say, “Now sing me some Patsy Cline!”
Liz Jahren (Louise Seger) holds an MFA in Acting from UTK, a post graduate certificate in LeCoq Actors Training from Naropa University and a BA with Distinction in Theatre from SSU. Favorite past roles at the Playhouse include: Louise in Always…Patsy Cline, Mae West in Dirty Blonde, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf and Lisa in Well. Other favorite SoCo roles include Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa, Pinky in Pinky, Ceclia in Quartet. Liz is the Artistic Director for Alchemia; an innovative visual & performing arts center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A million Thanks to E.C, MGG, DCG, ESP, SR, JS & always… Isabella.
What Makes Our Leading Lady SO Patsy?
You’ll see this isn’t her first rodeo! Shannon Rider is a SOoCo Country Music Favorite.
Shannon Rider (Patsy Cline) is a Santa Rosa native who has performed on many Northern California stages over the years. You may have seen her inconcert with The Shannon Rider Band, Miss Kitty & The Big Dogs, Rider & Sons or The Livin’ Daylights!
At 6th Street Playhouse, Shannon played Morticia in The Addams Family Musical, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show, Audrey in Hank Williams, Lost Highway, Maureen in Rent, Lin in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and more.
In 2008, Shannon had the sudden and unexpected opportunity to play Patsy in 6th Street’s production of Always…Patsy Cline. Mary Gannon Graham, who was playing the role, had fallen ill, and not having a planned understudy, Director, Elizabeth Craven called Shannon to quickly learn the role and step in….and “a-shakin’ in her boots,” she did!
Shannon recently played Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda at Spreckles Theatre Company. She was also their Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde.
One of her favorite roles was Minnie in “I Wanna Be Bad,” an original production she conceptualized and co-created with Barry Martin & Taylor Bartolucci, and collaboratively created the score with Nate Reibli, who is music directing this production.
She also played Virginia in Hands on a Hardbody and Cinderella’s Stepmother in Into the Woods with Lucky Penny Productions.
True to her gift for singing country music, Shannon played Tammy Wynette in The Tammy Wynette Story at Main Stage West & Cinnabar.
Shannon is grateful to have the opportunity to play this dream role and dedicates this performance to her beautiful mother for her strength and unending support, and to her Grandmother, Mary, who would come see her band play, put $5 in the tip jar and say, “Now sing me some Patsy Cline!”
She went from Fangirl to Friend
Houston housewife Louise Seger (played by Liz Jahren) went from fangirl to dear friend of country-pop idol Patsy Cline over the course of one night. Their friendship, much of it carried on through letters, lasted for the rest of Patsy’s life.
Louise first saw Patsy Cline (Shannon Rider) in 1957 on “The Arthur Godfrey Show.” She began calling Hal Harris, the deejay at Houston radio station KIKK, daily to request he play her songs. Early in May of 1961, Hal told Louise that Patsy was going to play nearby at the Esquire Ballroom. Louise eagerly grabbed a group of friends to join her for the show.
The group arrived at the venue before anyone else, except Patsy, who was alone, looking around the empty barn-like club. After introducing herself as a huge fan, Louise assured Patsy that the room would fill up and that she would keep the drummer from rushing the music.
After the show, Louise invited Patsy over for dinner. At her kitchen table, they discovered they had a lot in common. They stayed up so late talking that Patsy spent the night at Louise’s.
Patsy flew off to her next show in the morning, but they remained close friends until she tragically died, at the age of 30, in a plane crash.