Falling to Pieces

A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline

Bissett is a personable performer with a big, warm, Cline-like voice, even if she's perkier by far than the real-life Cline. She obviously adores her subject, and that affection comes through, despite the fact that she has to perform on a low-budget set that shoehorns the DJ booth and the Carnegie Hall/Grand Ole Opry set against the bandstand on the Cuillo Centre's small stage. As befitting a Patsy Cline wardrobe, the costumes in this show have lives of their own, though perhaps not the well-appointed lives they would have had if Cline's seamstress mother were still around to sew them.

Leslie Jo Bissett makes for a perky Patsy Cline
Leslie Jo Bissett makes for a perky Patsy Cline


Written by Dean Regan. Directed by Ron Palillo. Musical direction by Mace Graham. Starring Leslie Jo Bissett and Jack Cole. Accompaniment by Ed Bowers, Larry Matthews, Gabriel Nehemias, and Glenn Rovinelli. Through October 24.
Cuillo Centre For the Arts, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, 561-832-2405.

As Cline fans know, Patsy eventually traded in the fringed cowgirl outfits her mother created for chic frocks and pumps and eveningwear around the same time her producer, Owen Bradley, created the famous and formal orchestra arrangements for her songs. Enough with the behind-the-scenes look in the recording studio, however. I'd like to see a re-creation of the conversation that must have taken place the day Cline decided to change her image. "Forget the cactus appliqués, Mom. I need to look like I belong at Carnegie Hall. Dress me like Cocktail Lounge Barbie and save the Dale Evans getup for someone else." Sweet dreams, indeed.

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