Summers re-creates 3 singers in Cabaret Oldtown show

01/29/2010 8:22 AM

01/29/2010 8:22 AM

After bringing Patsy Cline to life all over the country since 1996 in "Always ... Patsy Cline," Cindy Summers is branching out to resurrect three beloved, but very different, singers in her new show.

Called "One Voice: A Tribute to Patsy Cline, Karen Carpenter and Judy Garland," the revue was written by Summers and performed from North Carolina to Connecticut over the past five years, including two New Year's performances at Mosley Street Melodrama.

Beginning tonight, she brings the show to Cabaret Oldtown, where her Patsy Cline show ran for nine months, setting Wichita's record for longest-running sold-out show. That performance also won her the local Mary Jane Teall best actress award.

"One Voice" will run through March 6. Summers will be accompanied onstage by musicians Rich Bruhn, Ron Smith, Jon Probst and Steve Hatfield.

The show is divided into two acts: The first involves Summers bringing Cline to life through 11 of her classic country hits, from "Walkin' After Midnight" to "I Fall to Pieces" to her iconic "Crazy."

The second act begins with 10 songs from mellow pop star Carpenter, from "Close to You" to "Top of the World" to "Rainy Days and Mondays." It ends with several medleys of Garland hits.

Summers re-creates each of the singers in looks as well as voice with the help of costumes and wigs.

"For Patsy and Karen, I sing in their voices but speak between songs in my own voice to tell stories about their careers," Summers says of the two women, who died tragically young. "But I become Judy for the finale, speaking and singing as her directly to the audience to capture the feel of her personal appearances."

Summers, a songwriter as well as a singer, first came to Wichita as an actress in the 1980s and then took her career on the road in the late 1990s, mostly with "Always ... Patsy Cline."

Summers was with the show for 2 1/2 years. She moved back about a year ago to make Wichita her home base.

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