Last month, Katie Deal had a week off from touring in “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” for the Springer Opera House.
“I’ve doing nothing but hanging out with Chris,” she said. “I had a little hiatus. We’re smack dab in the middle of the tour.”
Chris is her husband, fellow actor Christopher Wright, a Columbus native. They now live in north Georgia.
As soon as Deal finishes the tour, she begins rehearsal for “Lakebottom Proper,” the final show of the Springer’s 2010-11 season.
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Deal says “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” has been selling out most dates.
“We had eight days of rehearsals (in mid-January) and then went on the road,” she said. “It’s been kind of a whirlwind.”
It’s a new group of actors and musicians on this tour, she said.
“The only people who are the same are me and Gil (Hunter) and Gil played the drums the last time. This time, he’s road manager and tour manager. He’s got a lot on his plate. He drives the bus, too. I’m lucky I’m not him.”
The first time she toured the show in 2006, the cast traveled in a large van and pulled a trailer with the set and lights, This time, the cast is in a small bus and someone else drives the truck that holds the set and lights.
“I actually like to ride in the truck, but we all switch around,” she said.
Everyone gets along very well, Deal said.
“We’ve all gotten to be really good friends,” she said. “Paul (Pierce, the Springer’s artistic director) can cast people on talent, but he can’t cast on personality.
“I’m the only girl. I’m the princess. It’s like I have six brothers.”
Deal’s father, Nathan, became Georgia’s governor in January. Right after the inauguration, she hit the road.
“I haven’t stuck around long enough to find out” if being the first daughter has changed her life, she said with a laugh. “I’m getting more people interested in what I do. I allow people to use it for booking purposes. But I am who I am. I’m OK with that. My father being governor is not going to change that.”
She has met more relatives since her father became governor.
“He’s an only child but has a thousand cousins,” Deal said. “I’ve met a lot of people that I never knew were relatives.”
All through college, she was in a two-person band and people would tell her that she sounded just like Patsy Cline.
It wasn’t until 2002 that she did “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” as an understudy.
There are two major Cline plays. One, “Always Patsy Cline,” tells her story through a fictional fan. “A Closer Walk” is more of a concert featuring Cline’s songs, Deal said. She’s done both shows.
She’s still meeting people who have actually seen Patsy Cline in concert, and she spends a lot of time talking to these folks. Deal’s always picking up tips from these fans.