This is part of IndyFringe 2021, Aug. 19-Sept. 5 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.
By John Lyle Belden
This autobiographical “dramusicomedy” written and performed by Elizabeth Young-Collins, with writing and direction by Holly Hathaway Thompson, easily lends itself to comparisons to the popular show, “Always – Patsy Cline,” which would be unfair as that show is about Cline, while “The Betsy-Patsy Show” is about Young-Collins, as she looks back on her troubled life with an eye towards her childhood idol, leaning on the Country legend’s hits to put her own events in perspective.
Betsy is a recently-accomplished singer, and she shows us the path that took her here as she unpacks “the last damn box from the attic,” reflecting on running for Miss Muncie (Pennsylvania), her parents’ alcoholism, plus the discouragement – and encouragement – she received along the way. In Cline’s songs she found comfort, and in her tragic story a fellow traveler. She shares both with us with a raw sweetness and gentle humor that leaves us relieved she finally found someone “who could carry my sound system,” with hope that, maybe, we can, too.
It is a gem of a show that can use a bit of a polish, but with her willingness to be vulnerable on stage, I’m rooting for her. This is the kind of personal performance we go to Fringe for, with performances in the Murat Oasis.