By: Tanya Andrews | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2012
Miss Patti Page with Greg White, writer and producer of FLIPSIDE: The Patti Page Story.
She was just “a kid from Oklahoma who never wanted to be a singer but was told she could sing,” says Patti Page. Soft-spoken Claremore native Clara Ann Fowler wound up making a noise in the entertainment industry. Her career started when she sang on a KTUL live radio program for the Page Milk Company and was discovered by a dance band manager who was visiting from Chicago and just happened to turn on his radio. This discovery started Patti’s rise to fame that took her to the top of the record label charts. She became the highest-selling female recording artist of the 1950s with TV shows on the three major networks and sold over 100 million records. She never forgot where she came from, and this is her story.
FLIPSIDE: The Patti Page Story premieres during the 3rd annual Destination Claremore, April 27-May 5. The show was written and produced by Greg White, director of music theatre and producer for Broadway Tonight at the University of Central Oklahoma. White is a playwright, director, actor, producer and presenter, and started writing FLIPSIDE while interviewing Miss Page during her visit to Claremore in 2010. “There is no better place for FLIPSIDE to premiere than Patti’s hometown of Claremore,” said White. “She is a legend and her story needs to be told.”
Recently, FLIPSIDE received regional and national awards by the Kennedy Center Festival Awards for Director’s Choice/Best Represents the Region. Outstanding honors for FLIPSIDE were given for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Performance by an Actress, and Outstanding Performance by a Guest Artist. The musical also received several Distinguished Nods and Commendations.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s Destination Claremore with such an outstanding performance about one of our own legends,” said Tanya Andrews, executive director, Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The musical portrays Patti’s life, through the good times and bad, as well as her struggles and triumphs. We hoped she would be able to join us but cannot due to recent health issues. We are so privileged she was here in 2010 but saddened she will not be here to see this wonderful tribute to her, in person. Her legendary career, voice, and Oklahoma roots have brought Claremore and Oklahoma notoriety that cannot be forgotten.”
FLIPSIDE: The Patti Page Story premieres at the Robson Performing Arts Center on May 3 at 4 p.m., and again on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Robson PAC, by calling (918) 699-7390, or online at www.myticketoffice.com.
Destination Claremore kicks off April 27 and runs through May 5, with events taking place daily. This year will be exceptional, with popular events like Taste of Claremore at the Will Rogers Memorial, American Cowboy’s Traders Days at Will Rogers Memorial, Wooly Weekend at Shepherd’s Cross, JM Davis Gun & Knife Show, Route 66 Cruise-In at Ne-Mar Shopping Center, Antiques & Craft Show at the Nut House, Derby Day at Will Rogers Downs, Lilac Festival, and the Dog Iron Poker Run all returning. New this year is the Derby Hats & High Tea at the Belvidere Mansion on May 1.
Presenting sponsors are RCB Bank, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, City of Claremore, and with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional sponsors include the Robson PAC, Grand Bank, BancFirst, GRDA, TTCU…The Credit Union, and Reasor’s.
A full schedule of events is available at www.visitclaremore.org, or visitors can call (918) 341-8688 for information.