The Times West Virginian

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May 14, 2009

Town & Gown Players set summer productions

FAIRMONT — The play’s the thing this summer, courtesy of the FSU School of Fine Arts and Town & Gown Players.

• “Always, Patsy Cline” will be presented at 8 p.m. May 30-31 and June 4-6, 12-13 at the Pricketts Fort State Park Amphitheatre.

Directed by Troy Snyder, this is the story of the friendship between Houston housewife Louise Seger and legendary country singer Patsy Cline.

In 1961, Seger met her musical idol, and they struck up a friendship that lasted until Cline’s death in a 1963 plane crash. The pen-pal relationship provides much of the plot of the show.

The play focuses on the fateful evening at Houston’s Esquire Ballroom when Seger hears of Cline’s death in a plane crash. Seger supplies a narrative while Cline floats in and out of the set singing tunes that made her famous, including “Walkin’ After Midnight, “ “Sweet Dreams” and “Crazy.”

The show combines humor, sadness and reality. It offers fans who remember Cline while she was alive a chance to look back, while giving new fans an idea of what seeing her was like and what she meant to her original fans.

• “Willy Wonka Junior” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. June 12-13 and 18-20, and at 2 p.m. June 14 at Wallman Hall, Fairmont State campus.

The story of poor Charlie Bucket and candy man Willy Wonka will be very familiar to those who have read the book or seen the first film version, said director Fran Kirk.

“The songs are there ... ‘Pure Imagination,’ ‘Candy Man,’ ‘The Oompa Loompa Songs,’” she said. “And the story is close to the movie. Willy Wonka has a contest and five children win a golden ticket. They tour his chocolate factory but don’t realize that this is really the contest.”

This selection from MTI’s Broadway Junior Collection has been specially adapted for young performers.

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