Milwaukee Rep’s: Country Sunshine: The Legendary Ladies of Nashville!

Crazy, For thinking that my love could hold you, I’m crazy for trying, And crazy for crying, And I’m crazy for loving you

Now when you read that, if you heard Patsy Cline singing it in the back of your head…this show is absolutely for you! And if you didn’t, this show is absolutely for you because you have a lot of catching up to do!

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is on a run with special tributes to musical stars presented in their Stackner Cabaret. And they have extended it one more time with their opening offering for the 2023/2024 season. And it’s a long overdue tribute to “The Legendary Ladies of Nashville” starring Katie Deal!

Now Katie Deal is the real thing…for sure. Georgia born and bred and a stalwart of America’s country scene. And here in Country Sunshine, she brings us the back stories and hit songs of all of our favorite women in Country Music. So she has the twang and the swing and the charm that exemplifies all of the singers that she pays tribute to. And her enthusiasm and energy had many of us in the audience tapping our feet and singing along and there was a little chair dancing going on. And Deal recognized the fans who were most engaged with a smile, a nod, and when she could, just a little wave in their direction.

photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Now, I am not going to be able to remember all of the wonderful performers whose songs Deal recreated for us. But she nailed them and brought a lot of memories back for me since my first exposure to many of these songs came from my dad’s table radio back in the 1950s and 60s. But of course, Patsy Cline, as I mentioned in the opening, got a medley of her biggest tunes, ending with Crazy of course. But she also covered Dottie Wells, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, and a lot more! If you don’t hear a favorite song during this show, you aren’t paying attention!

And Deal is backed by a tight quartet of musicians, hitting all of the right notes and keeping the sounds alive! The band? : Jeff Hamann on bass, Johnny Rodgers on piano, Bob Monagle on guitars, and Terry Smirl on drums…AND Kristin Doty on supporting vocals. This show wouldn’t happen without them! Too bad they were covering so many songs and didn’t have the time to stretch out a bit and show us all of their chops!

The only thing I wanted from this show that I didn’t get…more music! LOL! Yeah, I would have loved more Dottie or Emmylou or Linda or Patsy! But I loved what I got. And yes, as I suggested in the opening, this show is for everybody!

Country Sunshine just opened so there is plenty of time to catch it, although don’t wait too long, because I expect that it will be a popular ticket.

So click here for more information on dates and tickets and some trailers from the show. And for extra credit reading, here is the Playbill!

And it’s in the Stackner, so plan ahead and make dinner reservations so you can eat, drink, and kick back a bit before the show!

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