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MAC offers tribute to music legend Cline
Starring Sandia Ahlers as Patsy Cline, middle, the red-hot musical "A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline" visits the Monroe Arts Center on March 12. Reserved seat tickets are $25 and $20 - $10 for students 18 and under - and are available through the Monroe Arts Center box office at 1315 11th St., Monroe, by calling 608-325-5700 or 888-596-1249, or may be ordered online at Also in the cast are Marek Sapieyevski (Joltin' Jim McCoy/keyboardist), left, and Russ Yoe (Little Big Man). (Photo supplied)
MONROE - After hundreds of sell-out performances on the North American tour and an award-winning run in Branson, Missouri, one of the hottest stage shows in America rolls into town at 7:30 p.m. March 12 when Monroe Arts Center presents the musical theater sensation, "A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline." The show traces the late star's footsteps from her early honky-tonk days and radio fame through her rise at the Grand Ole Opry and triumphs at Carnegie Hall and Las Vegas.

Written and conceived by Dean Regan, the musical reveals the emotional depth and range of a singer who defined the term "crossover hit" by dominating country, blues, pop and gospel charts simultaneously in the 1950s and early 1960s. The show won the Best New Show Award when it premiered in Branson, Missouri, in 1995 and enjoyed universal praise during its inaugural 36-city North American tour.

"A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline" features powerhouse singer and actress Sandia Ahlers, who sings 22 of Patsy's greatest hits including "Walkin' After Midnight," "Sweet Dreams," "I Fall to Pieces," "Crazy," "She's Got You," "Seven Lonely Days," and "Just a Closer Walk with Thee." Ahlers appeared at Monroe Arts Center in April 2014 when she played the sassy Ramona Juracko in the national tour of Della's Diner.

Backed up by a live band, Patsy interacts throughout the show with Little Big Man, a disc jockey from her hometown in Winchester, Virginia, as well as a host of outrageous stand-up comics that serve as warm-up acts for her concerts and radio shows.

The audience also is treated to a stunning array of elaborate show costumes, from Patsy's signature blue-and-white-fringed Opry outfit to the glimmering sequined gown worn for her Carnegie Hall appearance. These costumes do more than decorate the stage and the actress. They actually help tell the story of Patsy's career, life and untimely death at the age of 29.

The show is produced by Springer Theatricals and the Springer Opera House, the official state theater of Georgia, located in downtown Columbus.