More than 45 years after her death, Patsy Cline is still packing em in.
Always...Patsy Cline, the Durango Arts Centers summer musical theater offering, will be held over for two final shows this weekend thanks to its late-season success. The show, which opened June 11, was originally scheduled to close Sept. 18.
DAC board president Terry Swan said a string of sellouts in July, August and September prompted the decision.
Every performance since the Fourth of July has sold out the second and third, we sold about 75 each, and I almost had a heart attack, Swan said.
But then something clicked, surprisingly mostly with locals. Swan said the DAC sold the maximum 150 tickets for ensuing performances, and that was bumped up to 180 each night by adding more seats. He estimated that locals made up about 70 percent of the audience this summer.
If youre not on Main (Avenue), its hard to get the tourists despite our best efforts, but I guess this town really steps up and supports art if you provide a good product, he said.
The support translates into much-needed cold, hard cash for the DAC, too. Swan said the production broke even about Aug. 1, and he expects to clear around $45,000 for the DAC coffers by closing night Saturday. Thats a big turnaround from the DACs last ill-fated attempt at an extended theater run. Two years ago, the relocated Diamond Circle Melodrama cost more than $330,000 to produce and grossed only $110,000, putting the DAC in a near-fatal financial hole. But the corner appears to have been turned.
The success of Patsy is having a positive domino effect. Audiences are visiting the Barbara Conrad Gallery and buying, as commissions paid to artists are up 50 percent this year. And last weeks Durango Arts Festival on East Second Avenue netted another $14,000 for the DAC even after the event was forced to take a year off as the center struggled with an underrepresented board of directors and daunting debt in recent years.
The town had to be skeptical a couple of years ago, but they gave us the benefit of the doubt. Its really worked well, and the future hasnt looked so good for the DAC in a long time, Swan said.