‘Flipside’ spins the story of Patti Page

“Flipside: The Patti Page Story” opens June 23 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

UCO’s music theater department head, Dr. Greg White, is getting another chance to tell the story of Oklahoma’s own Clara Ann Fowler, otherwise known as Patti Page in his musical “Flipside: The Patti Page Story,” at 7:30 p.m. June 23-25 and 2 p.m. June 25-26, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15th St. in Oklahoma City.  

Page would become one of the best selling female artists of all time, topping the Billboard charts in the 1950s with songs like “Tennessee Waltz,” “Old Cape Cod” and “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” The Claremore native received a 2013 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award following her death at age 85.

“Personally I never get tired of that singin’ rage, Miss Patti Page. Her story. Her music. Her spirit. She’s just joy. Pure joy,” White said.

The show originally debuted at UCO and was instantly a hit. A tour around the country began, winning 18 awards at the Kennedy Center National Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C. “Flipside” then made its off-Broadway debut in New York City. A decade after this original run, UCO’s Broadway Tonight is bringing it back to life, presenting the 10th anniversary production.

“‘Flipside’ has such a loyal following in OKC and nationally. I’m constantly being asked ‘when are you bringing Patti Page back?’ Well, here she comes,” White said.

White conceived the show, basing it on real-life interviews of Patti Page to celebrate her life and preserve her legacy.

“‘Flipside’ is about discovering your voic, and the value of authenticity. In many regards the show is universal and timeless, but I believe the message rings true now, more than ever,” White said.

While the content of the show remains the same, the cast is almost completely new. White is not expecting a copy and paste of the show from a decade ago, but having former cast members does not hurt, either.

“Kassie Carroll and Justin Larman were part of the original ‘Flipside’ workshop and the original ‘Flipside’ production. They performed ‘Flipside’ at the Kennedy Center, and off-Broadway. They bring a rich history and institutional knowledge to the production. I’m anxious to see how the show will evolve as they have both evolved as artists.”

The cast includes Emily Pace as Patti Page and Leah Coleman as Clara Ann Fowler, both former UCO music theater students.

“I told both of them they would play these roles in the future, and here we are. I’m so excited to see what fresh energy they bring to the production,” said White.

Tickets are available at mitchellhalltheatre.com.

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