Monday, September 24, 2018

ASF: "Sometimes...Patsy Cline"

Sometimes...Patsy Cline had an all-too-short three-performance run last weekend at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Showcasing the impressive vocal talents of Jacqueline Petroccia [seen previously at ASF in Because of Winn Dixie, A Christmas Carol, and Always...Patsy Cline], this intermissionless songfest entertained its appreciative audiences.

Ms. Petroccia traced her journey from New Jersey girl to Country Western star, abetted by a few photo projections and bits of narrative linking songs to her story.

Some 24 cover-songs by Patsy Cline and others who influenced her [Bette Midler, Rosemary Clooney, Karen Carpenter, Hank Williams, among them] highlighted both her vocal range from alto to operatic soprano, as well as her command of Country Western, Blues, Broadway, Gospel, and novelty numbers that accented her refusal to be pigeonholed into one style.

Ms. Petroccia's versions of songs from Broadway's Gypsy, Clooney's "Mambo Italiano", excursions into operatic heights, as well as renditions of Cline's "Crazy", "I Fall to Pieces", and "Sweet Dreams of You" highlighted the entertainment.

Backed by a fabulous five-member on-stage band led by her husband, Ms. Petroccia instantly connected with her audience and kept them engaged for the entire 75-minute program.

Her powerful and expressive voice didn't need the excessive amplification provided her, but her vocal precision, clear diction, and sensitive interpretation of lyrics made for a delightful afternoon in her presence.