Crystal Bowersox to Play Patsy Cline on Broadway

One more American Idol alum will be hitting the Great White Way! American Idol season 9 runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, is set to play the late country singer, Patsy Cline, in the Broadway production of Always…Patsy Cline, set for a summer debut.

“It’s like a lifetime achievement thing,” she of the role. “I’m really happy about it.”

On playing the legendary country singer, who died in a plane crash in 1963 at the age of 30, Crystal said, “I grew up listening to her music, as most of us have, and I feel a special connection to her,” Crystal added, “Sadly, she died so young that she didn’t get to experience or really enjoy [her success]. It’s a tragic story and a great play and I’m really honored to be the one they chose to play Pasty.”

Cline was responsible for notching Top 20 hits such as “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Walkin’ After Midnight.”

Crystal joins other American Idol alums who starred on Broadway, including Diana DeGarmo (Hair, Hairspray), Ace Young (Hair, Grease), Fantasia Barrino (The Color Purple), Clay Aiken (Spamalot), Jordin Sparks (In The Heights), Taylor Hicks (Grease), Ruben Studdard (Ain’t Misbehavin‘), Justin Guarini (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and American Idiot) and Constantine Maroulis, ( Rock of Ages and can currentlyJekyll and Hyde).

Season 4 runner-up, Bo Bice is also headed to Broadway in a revival of the jukebox musical titled “Pump Boys and Dinettes” set to open in March 2013.

ETA: Sadly, Bo’s Broadway debut, Pump Boys and Dinettes has been postponed indefinitely reports Theatremania

Via Hollywood Reporter

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mj santilli

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  • Kariann Hart

    I can just imagine the women who would have LOVED to get this role!  How outstanding!  I hope Crystal will be a huge hit! CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Niall

    Sadly mj, Bo’s broadway debut show, Pump Boys and Dinettes. will not open after all. There’s a thread on Broadway World discussing it. There isn’t an official announcement but it’s supposed to be imminent. They might have suffered poor advances or an investor got cold feet. Bummer.

    Anyway, big congrats to Crystal. It doesn’t appear the show has lined up a theatre yet, so I hope they didn’t jump the gun with an announcement after getting Crystal to sign on as the star.

  • ST7

    Have to chuckle since Simon always criticized for sounding too Broadway

  • H.A.

    Congrats to Crystal. It looks like more and more Idols are heading to Broadway.

  • Danny Latham

    ..not to mention Randy Dawg as well has dished out the Broadway criticism. Crystal’s voice will fit Patsy Cline very well and she is going to be awesome!! 

  • durbesque

    Disappointed about ‘Pump Boys’ postponement (cancellation).  BO would have been wonderful, although some folks at BW think it’s a weak show.

    SOX AS PATSY!!!  She has everything for Broadway…above all, the warmth that audiences will love.  Did Patsy play guitar?

  • Incipit

     Simon always criticized for sounding too Broadway

    Heh. ST7, just what I was thinking, while reading that list of Idol Alumni who have played on Broadway – Not just Simon, but Randy as well – although that may have been a case of the “Me Too’s”. Also recalling when Betty Buckley read to them from The Book…I loved that.

    Great news for Crystal, and 27 songs is pretty damn cool. I think she will do very well with this show…I love her voice for the Patsy Cline part – I know those titles from back in the day, when Pop on the radio could be country, or anything at all, and my mom used to love to sing her songs. 

    Wonder how Crystal will look in a wig styled like Patsy’s dark hair? Very different, I’m thinking.

    Sorry to read about Bo’s gig, though…that’s unfortunate.

  • Kariann Hart

    I looked up some info on the film “Sweet Dreams”.  Jessica Lange played Patsy and it was a gutsy performance.  Crystal will need to look deep to pull out some of the pain Patsy went through in her life.  This will be a major challenge, but if she pulls it off, who knows where this could lead?  I am excited about this opportunity for her.

  • RustySax

    Congrats to Crystal, another entertainment industry door has opened for her!

    I predict that after the show opens, here on MJ’s we’ll start to see some snarky comments comparing Crystal’s interpretation of “Walking After Midnight” to Kelly’s bluesy arrangement, and both of those sent up against the original.

    When that happens, I’m going to sit back and chuckle. . .

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Congratulations to Crystal! I think that Crystal will do well in this role, both from a snging and acting POV. I thought that Crystal showed some real potential in her acting debut on “Body of Proof”.

  • cherelann

    I think Crystal is an inspired choice to play Patsy Cline.  She won’t have to dig that deep to find the angst as she has already lived it…

  • springboard2

    Heh. ST7, just what I was thinking, while reading that list of
    Idol Alumni who have played on Broadway – Not just Simon, but Randy as
    well – although that may have been a case of the “Me Too’s”.

    This is because they are speaking on behalf of the label who is after recording artists, not Broadway stars.
    If the show didn’t have ties with a label, I guess the judging would be different.

  • Incipit

     they are speaking on behalf of the label

    Naw, I respectfully disagree that Cowell, Nigel or any of TPTB were speaking on behalf of RCA’s prospects when the show was over –  while they were judging Seasons 1-9, and using ‘Broadway’ as a dirty word, springboard2. Nigel and TPTB were all about the TV show, they still are – he may like some bragging rights, but Nigel has even said he wasn’t concerned with what happened after. 

    In the last two seasons, there has been some tension evident between Iovine and Randy the judges now – they, or should I say Nigel – sometimes giving conflicting advice – since they have different aims…but when Cowell was on the panel? No. For quite some time, the label (RCA) didn’t even have a rep on the set…there have been posts here about that. But Interscope certainly does.

    IMO, Cowell was just being an ignoramus about Broadway, using it as a put-down and a pejorative, as Betty Buckley’s wonderful rant pointed out. That’s why it pleases me a little bit extra me to see that list of successful Idols from Broadway shows. It would tickle me even more if some XFUS finishers were to explore that route. Schadenfreude. Heh.


  • fuzzywuzzy

    I hadn’t heard Kelly’s rendition of “Walking after Midnight”, so I looked it up on youtube.

    Thanks! It’s terrific!

  • Li Wright

    Would anyone know — Is this a Reboot? or an original play?  Second — I read somewhere that Broadway producers like AI alum because of their work ethic.

    Okay, have my answer. The play debuted in 1988.

  • geekygirl

    I think it is a great choice, she can definitely pull it off vocally.  

    The first thing that came to my mind was how is she going to get all those dreads under a wig?

  • Bobbi

    Will definitely make the trek to the city to see Crystal! How exciting!

  • steph6449

    Nice.  I could see this working with Crystal’s musical style. I don’t have any feel for her acting ability to carry a full-length play, but she should have time to work on that if it’s a question.

  • Miz

    That is a really gorgeous picture of Crystal. Congrats to her on getting this plum role. I also saw her in that Body of Proof episode and she has the acting chops.

    She met up with Kris Allen at Grammy weekend yesterday. They’re going to get together at her house when he’s in Portland. Kris wants to ride her sheep. :D

  • artemis112

    I saw this play years ago and as I recall it’s more of a musical review with a few scenes between many songs. This is perfect for Crystal-she’ll sound beautiful singing these iconic songs and I’m sure she’ll have no problem interpreting Patsy’s  
    emotional lyrics.

    I’m sorry to hear about Bo’s play.

  • chillj

    Ow, WOW, cool!

  • mmmtx

    A big congratulations to Crystal.  She has always been one of my favorites and I think she will shine singing Patsy’s iconic songs. I am just thrilled for her!

  • curly_yenta

    That’s a shame for Bo.  I know he was “pumped” (excuse the pun) to appearing on Broadway.  He could use a break.

    Congrats to Crystal. Hope it’s a success for her, although I never would have guessed that she’s be destined for Broadway as well!

  • LA944

    This is great! I’m going to go up to see her in the show (hopefully can get tix). So happy for Crystal. I always felt that contestants from season 9 got kind of a raw deal–when really the problem was the judges/producers.

    Anyway, IMO Crystal is one of the biggest talents that ever appeared on the show and I think a lot of success is coming her way

  • ZsusK

    I don’t think Crystal will have to dig too deep. Check out the lyrics to Farmers Daughter and read a bit about her life. 

    I’m really excited for her, and hope that this opens more doors. 

  • Tess

    People do realize this isn’t a “broadway show” but a regional 2 act play that has been playing in regional theater across the country for some time.  Its no big production and will probably be at an obscure theater in the broadway district for a limited engagement.  No theater, dates, or other casting has been announced.

  • Al Kahn

    Wow…how cool is this…was a huge Bowersox fan…wanted her to win in the worst way!  Don’t know much about her acting skills but she must have impressed on the auditions!  SWEET!

  • quickjessie

     What a shame.  Bo just cannot catch a break.  This guy is cursed. 

  • quickjessie

     Well then, poor Crystal.  What a bummer she got hired for this dud. 

    Or not. 

    Way to stomp on the enthusiasm, lol.

  • MellyPer1692

    If its on Broadway, it’s a Broadway show. I don’t understand the need to minimize her accomplishment or put the gig down.

  • Caro3278sweet

    I think Ms. Bowersox has some acting chops. So good for her that she can get a theatre gig that also includes singing – another of her talents.

  • Incipit

    …it’s more of a musical review with a few scenes between many songs. This is perfect for Crystal-she’ll sound beautiful singing these iconic songs, and I’m sure she’ll have no problem interpreting Patsy’s emotional lyrics.

    Yes, I’ve seen it billed as a Musical Memoir, or a Musical Biography in Two Acts. The few scenes connect the songs in the story, and every place it has played since 1990, it has been a real crowd pleaser. It played off-Broadway in ’97, and ran for 192 performances…I have no idea how long this run will be – since the details are scarce at the moment, but I think you are exactly right, artemis112, Crystal can easily handle interpreting those songs in Patsy’s style, and that is what her fans and the fans of Patsy Cline will be coming to see. It’s the Fifty Year Anniversary of Patsy’s death; 1963 – 2013.

    Twenty seven songs is more than most concerts even offer (unless it’s The Boss, or something) and it looks pretty entertaining for Cline/Crystal fans if the set list stays the same. With the anniversary, there may be some changes, IDK – these are not ‘all’ Patsy’s songs  –  but I was surprised to see how many I recognized.   Radio used to be a very different animal. *snerk*

    Musical NumbersWalkin’ After Midnight (Don Hecht / Alan Block)
    Back In Baby’s Arms (Bob Montgomery)
    Anytime (Herbert Happy Lawson)
    Honky Tonk Merry Go Round (Frank Simon / Stan Gardner)
    I Fall To Pieces (Hank Cochran / Harlan Howard)
    It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (J.D. Miller)
    Come On In (and sit right down) (V.F. “Pappy” Stewart)
    Stupid Cupid (Neil Sedaka / Howard Greenfield)
    Your Cheatin’ Heart (Hank Williams, Sr.)
    You Belong To Me (Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart, and Chilton Price)
    I Love You Honey ( Eddie Miller / W.S. Stevenson)
    Lovesick Blues(Irving Mills / C Friend)
    If I Could See The World (Through the eyes of a child) – (Sammy Masters / Richard Pope)
    She’s Got You (Hank Cochran)
    Sweet Dreams (Don Gibson)
    Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray (Eddie Miller / W.S. Stevenson)
    Crazy (Willie Nelson)
    Seven Lonely Days (Earl Schuman / Walden Schuman / Marshall Brown)
    Just a Closer Walk (Traditional)
    Gotta Lotta Rhythm (Barbara Ann Vaughn /W.S. Stevenson)
    Shake Rattle And Roll (Charles Calhoun)
    Blue Moon of Kentucky (Bill Monroe)
    Faded Love – (John Wills / Bob Wills)
    True Love – (Cole Porter)
    How Great Thou Art (Traditional)
    If You’ve Got Leavin’ On Your Mind (Wayne Walker / Webb Pierce)

    Bill Bailey (Traditional)Enjoy, whoever gets to attend! 

  • Tess

    Just for the un-initiated here is a brief synopsis of the show in video form.

    And, not raining on anyone’s parade but I’m calling a spade a spade.  I’m also betting that most people have never heard of this play nor of any of the gals who have played Patsy over the years.  

  • kayd23

    Congrats to Crystal. What a great role for her. I think a part in a Broadway musical or play is something all the Idols should do if they get the chance. I am sure that they would gain much from performing on Broadway.

  • milwlovesadam

    Kudos for Crystal. I was rooting for her on Idol and was sorry to see her not win. Glad she’s getting this gig.

    Sadz for Bo, sometimes he just doesn’t get a break. Loved him too. Voted like crazy for him with my kids. Those were our first ever votes.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Cool! Thanks for that wonderful opinion about a show that you’ve never seen. It’s reassuring to know that the posters here can always count on your posts to provide accurate information and great insight.  lol 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Thanks for that info on the show, Incipit. I think that Cline’s music will be a great fit for Crystal.

  • Tess

    First of all I have seen the show and its second rate at best, imo. Have you seen the show?  

  • revolution

    If you read the stories out there, you will see that they are bringing the show to Broadway with a new cast. Gina is very careful to not let things come out before they are a done deal. It was an off Broadway play that is being brought back on Broadway.

    Crystal also is in the pilot of a TV show…Gina has kept things hush hush while Lifetime decides if they order the series, but it looks good with the money that has gone into it already.

  • revolution

    Have you seen this production of it? No, nobody has, save your critiques until after the show opens…

  • fuzzywuzzy

    From your posts, it sounded like you hadn’t seen the show. No, I haven’t seen it, but I would think that seeing a regional, early rendition of this show may be a lot different from a version that is being produced for Broadway. It’s too bad that you spent money to see a show that you didn’t like, but it’s still your opinion, and may not be one that is based on upcoming Broadway show with Crystal. I’m not a fan of a lot of shows, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t appealing to a lot of people.

    revolution wrote:
    “If you read the stories out there, you will see that they are bringing the show to Broadway with a new cast. Gina is very careful to not let things come out before they are a done deal. It was an off Broadway play that is being brought back on Broadway.”

    It will be interesting to see what kind of changes are being made when they bring this show to Broadway. It’s a career move that I wouldn’t have expected from Crystal and I’ll be interested to see how it works out for her.

  • WestiesRule

    Good for her. I wish her the best. Idol is such a great platform for so many…

  • Sassycatz

    Very happy for Crystal. She was my favorite that season. Thought she had a beautiful voice and was a very good songwriter. But, what surprised me was, when she was doing those Ford videos and they had her acting, she was good!! I thought, then, that she might have a future in acting, and lo and behold that avenue is proving very promising.

    Fortunately, I won’t have to wait for a Broadway production. I bought a ticket today to see her on her tour when she comes to Washington, DC. It’ll be the first time I’ll have seen her sing live, so I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Fan Dja

    Congrats to Crystal.  Really really liking Gina Orr :)

  • Jake W.

    So happy to see her get gigs. Love her!

  • mjsbigblog

    The show is a musical review, or a “jukebox musical”, and is a specific genre of musical, but a musical nonetheless.  Many musical reviews have had successful runs on Broadway, and without an asterisk. If it run on Broadway, it’s Broadway!

    That the show ran in regional theater first, or that the singers who have played Patsy in the past aren’t famous is inconsequential to what this show will become or its future success when it hits the Broadway stage.
    A few successful Juke Box Musicals:

    Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Leiber and Stoller)
    Mama Mia (Abba)
    Jersey Boys (Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons)
    Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presely, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash)

    There is a book, but it’s usually loose and serves to highlight the songs or the artist.

    I think it’s a great gig for Crystal. Lets hope it hits no snags before it opens!


  • Kitwana

    Gina Orr has proven once again what a great manager she is. This is a great get for Crystal! It’s an opportunity to showcase her talent to a new audience and this can only help her career.

  • ZsusK

    Thank you.

  • iluvai

    Congrats to Crystal. This is a show I would like to see.

  • dd999

    Great news that  Crystal will be doing Patsy Cline on Broadway! I loved her performances on AI and was shocked she didn’t win. Still remember her awesome cover of ‘Me and Bobby McGee’!  So good!

  • Kariann Hart

    Oh, MJ – I have seen all four of these shows.  Smokey Joe’s Cafe was a joy three times!  I loved the music from this era.  They are wonderful – and I hope Crystal will be wonderful.  Wonder if she will be doing some dancing?

  • CharlyBaltimore

    Here’s a video of Crystal singing “Crazy”.