The sound of Patsy Cline’s voice is unmistakable.
That doesn’t leave Melissa Adams-Goihl much leeway in portraying the legendary country singer and songwriter.
Adams-Goihl portrays Patsy Cline in the Rochester Civic’s production of the musical, “Always… Patsy Cline.” The show opens Thursday Sept. 16.
Adams-Goihl has help from a dialect coach Paul Meier and from vocal coach Catherine Davis.
The result is a performance invocative of the late country singer in a musical about her life and Cline’s relationship with Louise Seger, a Texas fan turned longtime friend who is played by Laurie Helmers.
The show features 27 of Cline’s songs — all sung by Adams-Goihl. Her performance has the timbre and lilt Cline carried in real life.
Davis said it’s a vocal style not anyone can imitate.
“We’re really lucky that Melissa is exceptional in her ability as a vocalist,” Davis said. “That lilt as you call it, those scoops, it’s really the icing on the cake.”
A five-piece band accompanies Adams-Goihl on stage.
“Melissa really embodies Patsy,” said Misha Johnson, the Civic’s managing director who is directing the musical. “It’s like listening to Patsy on the radio.”
The show follows the friendship of the two women who meet at one of Cline’s performances and continue a correspondence that lasted until Cline’s death in a plane crash at age 30 in 1963.
Ted Swindley, who wrote the show, tells Cline’s story from Seger’s point of view, beginning with Cline’s national television debut in 1957.
Johnson said the show adds humanity to a person who’s known mostly by her music.
“She was just one of the girls,” Johnson said.
Adams-Goihl captures that along with the talent that has made Cline beloved and remembered for generations.
“She brings tears to my eyes,” Johnson said about Adams-Goihl when she performs “Sweet Dreams,” one of Cline’s last recordings, the performance.
If you go
What: Rochester Civic Theatre's production of "Always... Patsy Cline"
When: 7 p.m., Sept. 16-18; Sept. 23-25; 2 p.m. Sept. 19, 26
Where: Rochester Civic Theatre
More info: Masks are required on the premise at all times.