The young woman who played the starring role in the musical Always…..Patsy Cline is already a professional in a field sometimes stereotyped as being anything but. Her carriage and the impressive performing resume she possesses belie someone aged 23.

Talented at a level few seldom witness, she didn’t just enter the stage, she owned it. Had you known her prior to the performance you would’ve been skeptical her demure, gracious personality would enable her to possess the stage like a performer’s expected. You would have been wrong. Joie Sherman entered the stage with chutzpah and professionalism. Poised, graceful, convincing as Patsy Cline down to the boyish gait and the gawky, comical timing, the stage was hers from the initial touchdown of the sole of her white cowboy boots. The audience knew they were in good hands.

The musical at Norman, Oklahoma’s 80-year old Sooner Theatre played to a crowd of over 700 during its three recent performances. Joie Sherman was the reason these people were able to spend a magical hour-and-a-half in a nostalgic old theatre being entertained as in a by-gone era. Enthralled, they slipped back in time, and could have easily sat through another hour of Joie’s vibrant, resonant delivery of Patsy’s classics.

Joie Sherman, Trevin Cooper, Director, and Michelle Breedlove

This website has taken off in a literal direction, somewhat unforeseen at its launch. It stands to reason – I love solo road trips, the site was developed to share experiences associated with them, to encourage others to embark upon them, and so solo road trips it is. But a solo road trip connotes many things – the literal trip being the obvious. Anyone having embarked upon one knows the obvious is minutiae.

As one of the enthralled in the audience during Saturday night’s performance, I made a few observations. Joie, an OU graduate from North Dakota, has been on the Sooner Theatre scene for some time. So there was an impressive multi-state family and friend contingent in attendance. On stage she was accompanied by a live band and Michelle Breedlove, playing Louise Seger, who added her own highly entertaining talent to the evening.  And yet, Joie stood solo on that stage. Her performance, while dependent on a supporting cast, demanded complete, perfect, independent execution. She walked alone in the midst of other performers, a crush of fans, doting family members, and an adoring boyfriend.  At a certain level, we all do just that.  If only we could  walk our own stages with such class.  Her example gives us all something to strive for.

Above Photos by Stephanie Royse

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