Falling In Love With Sara-Jeanne HosieWednesday, June 22, 2011
|With an apology to photographer David Cooper|
A few months ago I fell in love with a woman, whose profile (a photograph by David Cooper) I gazed at in the lobby of the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Stanley. It was, perhaps the opening of Tear the Curtain. There I was, staring at Cooper’s beautiful photograph of a woman called Sara-Jeanne Josie who was to play Patsy Cline in a play called A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline by Dean Regan in June. In the picture Josie was wearing a blood red cowgirl dress and her lustrous black hair was pulled back. Her gaze was one of absolute romance. Fearing I might fall into the photograph I glanced to my side. There in profile, a woman dressed in black, very serious, looked at the photograph with a cursory nod of her head and moved on. I followed. The woman was Sara-Jeanne Josie. I followed and by then she was perhaps sensing that I was some would-be creep so I moved on. At the interval I spotted her again. She knew I was looking. I turned and reluctantly went back to my seat.
That event for me brought memories of the many times I have watched the film Laura and detective Mark McPherson (played by the dashing in a trench coat Dana Andrews) fall in love with the woman in the portrait of advertising executive Laura Hunt (played by Gene Tierney) while investigating her murder. One evening he falls asleep to find the murdered woman in the living room staring at him. I felt that when I first gazed on the real Sara-Jeanne Josie.
As my granddaughter Rebecca and I enjoyed the opening performance of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline I was hard pressed to find the woman I had fallen for those months ago. On stage Hosie’s presence was electric. It was charming. Her voice was wonderful (Rebecca whispered into my ear many times, “She can really sing!”). She was down home country and made us all in the audience melt. But there was a Hosie that was missing. I tried to put my finger on it and quickly figured it out. In A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Hosie sings. You see her teeth. She smiles and you sense her charm. She changes into ever more elegant dresses (kudos to Norma Bowen the costume designer). She is beautiful. But Hosie is never serious or mysterious.
It was that serious and mysterious Hosie that I noticed back at the Stanley. It is a Hosie who is not channeling Patsy Cline. It is Hosie herself, ever more interesting and intriguing, than the country singer I never met or even, to my shame, one I never knew anything about until now.
Thank you Arts Club Theatre Company for somehow leaving the best to last. A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline continues until July 30 at the Granville Island Stage.