Johnny Cash’s “cool factor” in the music biz has long been recognized by musicians and fans around the world. Through his unparalleled solo career and his collaborations with music industry legends from Bob Dylan to his stellar super group The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson), Cash has set the gold standard for “cross-over” artists. His music appeals to rock, pop and country fans, and his story is a brilliant and inspiring ride through the highways and bi-ways of America. In RING OF FIRE, audiences will find some of the greatest songs of one of America’s most brilliant singer/songwriters, Johnny Cash. In this remarkable overview of the Man in Black’s music and life he is never impersonated, but his remarkable life story is told through his music, climaxing in a concert that will both move and exhilarate audiences of all ages!
Broadway legend Richard Maltby, Jr. created this theatrical insight into Cash’s life and music to deliver a classic American story. Maltby illustrates, “It’s almost a mythic American tale—of growing up in simple, dirt-poor surroundings in the heartland of America, leaving home, traveling on wings of music, finding love, misadventure, success, faith, redemption, and the love of a good woman—and eventually returning home. It’s about the journey of a man in search of his own soul, which is in fact what emerges when you consider all the details of Cash’s life together. That seemed to be a worthy story to put on a stage—and the best part is we could tell it entirely through the songs.” Based on an idea by Bill Meade, RING OF FIRE played Broadway in 2006 and has gone on to become a very popular title for regional and community theatres across North America.
American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, born in Arkansas in 1932, first hit the scene in the 1950s, with the success of his hit song “I Walk The Line”. Since then, Cash has been catapulted into the deity of celebrated American singers. As soon as Cash had reached a certain level of success, he began drinking heavily and using drugs. In one behind-the-scenes interview, Cash even announced that he had “tried every drug there was to try.” Filmmakers and playwrights alike have immortalized Cash’s life for its infamy and mystery. Surviving the wild ride that was his earlier years in the business, Cash, a man of deeply felt faith and personal convictions, went on to record and tour for many years before his death in 2003.
RING OF FIRE delivers the grace, beauty and downright rock-out rambunctiousness of the Cash canon in a very tightly knit concert-theatre hybrid. Maltby proclaims, “by the end of the show the audience will feel that they have spent the evening in the presence of an extraordinary and real man. In many ways, Johnny Cash wrote and sang about the lives we lead, regardless of where we lead them. If, watching this show, you feel yourself being drawn back to your roots, it isn’t accidental—even if you’ve forgotten what those roots are. I hope, as we bring to life these wonderful songs, we will touch your heart, mind and soul as well, and take you back to part of your life you may want to return to.”
For information on licensing your production of RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, click here to visit the show’s homepage on the TRW website.