Tribute To Patsy Cline At Local Playhouse

Only for four performances, so don’t screw around

It must be difficult to put on a one woman show. There’s no rest. And when it goes on for an hour and a half without so much as a water break, well, we take our hat off to her.

Bonnie Kilroe entertains us at the Rosarito Theatre Guild April 21 through the 24th, and as in the past, she will no doubt do this to critical applause and calls of encore.

Miss Kilroe has enteertained us with this play before, and her audiences here are enthusiastic and warmly appreciative.  She gives us Patsy Cline in a way that evokes the best performances of the late, wonderful singer herself.

She explains, “My cousin Danny and I wore out multiple Patsy Cline cassette tapes as we grew  up. Then one day in 1990 there was a contest for someone to play the lead in the Arts Club’s production of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline. I was so excited, I went out and rented a wig, and performed a song that I was sure no one knew. But at that time, I was not yet a very seasoned singer and did not get the role. Despite the rejection, that audition turned out to be a pivotal moment, because it turned the aspiring performer in me down the path of my current profession as a celebrity impersonator.”

Since then, she has added many other characters to her repertoire, including Liza, Bette, Marilyn, Tina, Cher, and Dolly. But Patsy is still her favourite. Bonnie says, “She’s the only character in all my impersonations that I perform solo for an entire show. The rest are all vignettes.”

There are many people who have pigeon holed Patsy Cline as a country crooner who only sang slow, sad songs meant for the love sick and the starry eyed.  But this is not true and Bonnie shows us Patsy’s range in this fabulous virtuoso performance. A major plus is that she loves interacting with the audience,  so be prepared to have a moment of glory yourself, from the audience.

  She explains her take on performing, saying, “I perform my Patsy show as if it’s a very small town, and we all know each other. I start the show off with a song called, Come on In ...and sit right down and make yourself at home.”

Bonnie has appeared from Alaska to Antarctica with several suitcases full of costumes and wigs impersonating everyone from Cher, and Barbra Streisand, to Lady Gaga, all to sold out shows. Bonnie Kilroe has the ability to capture the unique vocal talent and to re-create the flamboyant fashion styling and passion of Patsy Cline with uncanny accuracy. It is mesmerizing to watch her perform.

In case you’re not old enough to remember Patsy Cline, a little background might help. She was born in 1932 in Gore, Virginia as Virginia Patterson Hensley. Her father was a 43 year old blacksmith, and her mother a 16 year old seamstress. Sam deserted the family in 1947 but not before producing two more children. However, Patsy’s childhood was reportedly very happy nevertheless.

She began singing at any early age with her mother in church. When Patsy was 13 she was hospitalized with a throat infection and rheumatic fever. The fever affected her throat and when she recovered she had a booming voice much like the legendary Kate Smith. One day she got the chance to sing on a local radio show, and from there she blossomed into a very popular star. She took the professional name Patsy Cline from her mother’s maiden name and the last name of her first husband.

In 1953, just as her career was taking off, Patsy married a contractor named Gerald Cline.  He wanted her to be a simple housewife while she wanted to sing professionally, so that marriage failed. In 1957 she married Charlie Dick, after dicking around, (I can’t help it), they had two children. Charlie lived to be 81 and passed away just last year. But Pasty Cline died in 1963 at the age of 30 in a private plane owned by her manager. Patsy Cline’s moment in the spotlight was brief, but she lives on in her music.

Patsy Cline’s single “Crazy” is a jukebox hit and can still be heard whenever that type of song is played. It is second only to Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog.  Ten years after her death, in 1973, she became the first female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Her music left an enduring impression on her fans and she has been an inspiration to this day for her fellow country music stars.

Now, just a little more than 53 years after her tragic end, the Rosarito Theatre Guild is proud to present “Bonnie Kilroe’s Tribute To Patsy Cline.”

Bonnie has been entertaining professionally for 14 years. Her singing and showmanship has thrilled audiences in cabarets around the world. She recreates the songs Patsy made history with in a way that would make you swear you were listening to a recording. Patsy’s songs “Crazy”, “Sweet Dreams”, “Walking after Midnight”, “I fall to Pieces” and many more bring you back to the sweet 60’s, gentler times with great music.  Bonnie’s natural comic timing, striking looks, and versatile vocals make for a mesmerizing feast that you have to treat yourself to. I promise that you will leave this exciting show a committed fan of both Patsy and Bonnie.

There will be four performances at the Rosarito Theatre Guild.  The evening performances are on Thursday and Friday April 21st and 22nd at 7:00 P.M. and the matinees are on Saturday and Sunday April 23rd and 24th at 2:00 P.M.   There will also be a meet and greet event at a private residence for financial supporters, called Angels of the Theatre Guild at 5:00 P.M. after the Sunday show. For more information please call 664-609-3451 or visit www.rosaritotheatre.org.