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Graner realizes ‘sweet dreams’ starring in ‘A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline’

Anisa Graner will star in "A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline" on April 9-12 at Shoals Theatre in Florence. (CONTRIBUTED)
Anisa Graner will star in “A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline” on April 9-12 at Shoals Theatre in Florence. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – One of the area’s most dynamic voices is portraying a country music icon that she admires.

Anisa Graner is starring in “A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline,” a production by the Zodiac Players with Shoals Theatre in Florence. Cline’s family has sanctioned the show.

Set in 1963, the show begins in Winchester, Va., Cline’s hometown. Radio deejay Little Big Man introduces Cline’s song. Her story continues through honky tonks, the Grand Ole Opry, Las Vegas and Carnegie Hall. Little Big man closes his show by announcing Cline’s death.

“I’m a lifelong Patsy Cline fan,” Graner said. “My favorite song has always been ‘Crazy.’ It has always been a dream of mine to play her. Her songs are full of meaning.” Years ago, Graner first portrayed Cline for “An Evening at the Opry” dinner theatre at Asbury United Methodist Church.

Cline’s early rock-a-billy music has challenged Graner. “I didn’t know some early songs. I was learning from scratch,” she said. Luckily, Graner’s vocal range matches Cline’s.

“The hard part is I’m doing 20 songs. That can tire you. I’m trying to not raise my voice or laugh too much,” Graner said.

Graner sang for most Asbury Dinner Theatre shows, Asbury praise band and choir. She opened for Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Razzy Baily and Bobby Goldsboro concerts.

Percussionist Rhodes Russler and pianist Bryan Walker of Madison and Chuck Woodward of Monrovia are performing in the band. Shonda Purvis is director.

Graner is a certified public accountant. Her husband Clay work as an engineer with Qualis Corporation. Their daughter Savannah recently starred in “Bride of Frankenstein” in New York City. Their son Austin and wife Brittany live in Limestone County; he works for Tecolote Research Inc.

Shoals Theatre’s address is 123 N. Seminary St. in Florence.

Show dates are April 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. and April 12 at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for students (or $15 and $12 at the door). For tickets, visit Shoalstheatre.org.

For information, visit Facebook/Shoals Community Theatre.

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