Local performer Mikki Prost has been keeping American country music singer Patsy Cline’s legacy alive through tribute shows for close to a decade. Ready for new challenges, Mikki has been devoting all her time and energy over the past few months to develop a new tribute show, The Incomparable Lady Day—Billie Holiday, The Musician, opening at The Boutique Community Theatre on Tuesday, January 8.
Mikki first discovered Cline’s music at the now-defunct Santa Barbara Theater. “I grew up knowing some of her more popular, or crossover hits, but didn’t come across her complete body of work until much later in life,” she is quick to confess.
She eventually developed her own show with a Tribute to Patsy Cline, presented at Qué Pasa on a monthly basis to much success. Subsequent involvement with a local production of Supreme Dream (featuring music by The Supremes) connected her with Good Morning, Heartache, a song recorded by Holiday in 1942 and subsequently revived by Diana Ross in the 1972 biopic, Lady Sings the Blues. “The song kept tapping at the back of my head,” she recalls. Subsequently, she developed Shades of the Blues, a tribute to blues singers. “My performances do not feature just song after song,” she affirms. “The audience gets the whole package. They get to enjoy the music, but they also get to learn about the singers and the songs they used to sing.”
A member of the Boutique Theatre family since 2010, Mikki has found ways to keep her Patsy Cline tributes fresh, changing repertoire, and even show format. Last year she introduced the “jukebox” concept in which audiences were provided with a song list so they could custom-pick the show they wanted to enjoy. “Every performance was completely different from the one before,” she recalls.
It would seem that Good Morning, Heartache, tapped at the back of her head enough to develop her upcoming tribute to Lady Day, as Billy Holiday was nicknamed by her friend and musical partner, Lester Young. She will be accompanied onstage by José Lupe on lead guitar and Chas Diaz on bass and on piano for a couple of songs.
The Incomparable Lady Day—Billie Holiday, The Musician plays every Tuesday in January and February, except for February 26, at 6 pm at The Boutique Community Theatre.
Paco Ojeda is The Boutique Community Theatre’s Publicity Manager. A Puerto Vallarta-based freelance communicator, he writes news and stories for Puerto Vallarta’s English-speaking community at his blog, paco-ojeda.com.