Country superstar Patsy Cline may have passed away in 1963, but she is returning to the stage this month with a performance at the Chief Sepass Theatre on Friday, Aug. 23.
Bonnie Kilroe is an award winning impersonator who has brought a variety of celebs to the stage from Barbara Streisand and Dolly Parton. But above all, her Patsy Cline impression is Kilroe’s favourite musical performance to share.
“I had a knack for impersonating family members and so that’s where it started,” Kilroe explained. “Sunday’s we went over to grandma’s and family would get out instruments and sing. I was raised on country music.”
Kilroe started working as a comedian and began to add impersonations to her repertoire. One thing led to another and, after a few costume additions, the rest of the act was dropped in favour of the country queen.
“I like to say accident’s happen,” Kilroe said, summing up the process on how she found her niche.
Kilroe has toured around as a variety of different people, including in a one-woman show called Divas: Vegas Meets Vaudeville last summer where she portrayed 20 different real-life-characters.
In this particular show, she sings hits like “I Fall to Pieces,” “Back in Baby’s Arms,” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” as well as a few unknown gems. Kilroe said she also makes sure she captures the spirit and energy of the beloved performer as well.
“She was very down to earth and spunky and liked to have fun… which is not far off,” Kilroe said in regards to similarities Cline and herself possess. “When I’m Cher, then I am totally playing a different character. With Patsy, I’m really just being me with an accent.”
Rob Warick is the man responsible for bringing Kilroe and her array of impressions to Langley through Rock.It Boy Entertainment.
Though he operates out of White Rock, Warick started the company in Langley twenty years ago and has since built up a roster of impersonations acts that include the Roy Orbison tribute, The Lonely, and Led Zepagain.
“I always catered to an older audience and prefer doing soft-seat theatres – no nightclubs,” Warick explained. “Tribute acts have to be high end – almost better than the real thing. You’re selling nostalgia and memories than people can relate to of entertainers that are no longer with us.”
Warick said Kilroe is bang on when it comes to her tribute and that people will not be disapointed.
“I was raised in a welcome environment which I want to bring to the stage,” Kilroe added. “The older I get, the more I enjoy it because it’s truly special being able to do this for a living.”
Tickets for Country Music’s Sweetheart Pasty Cline: A Tribute by Bonnie Kilroe are available at www.rockitboy.com.
People can also read more about Kilroe and her many different performances by visiting www.celebrity-imposters.com.
“You always hear people that come up and are so grateful for bringing back memories or that their mother or grandmother used to listen to Patsy. I try to channel her so people can remember,” Kilroe said.
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