Herberger stage show highlights music of Johnny Cash

From left, John Marshall, Benjamin Hale, Brent Moyer (Photo by Holly Porch, courtesy of Riverside Theatre)

The story of one of America’s most iconic singers and songwriters is the theme for “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash,” set to kick off this month at the Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix.

“Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” features 38 classic hits made famous by “The Man in Black” – from “I Walk the Line” and “A Boy Named Sue” to “Folsom Prison Blues” and the title tune – performed by a multi-talented cast of actors, singers and musicians.

“Ring of Fire” plays at the Temple of Music and Art, 333 S. Scott Ave. in Tucson, from March 4 to 25 and at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St. in Phoenix, from March 30 through April 16.

Conceived by William Meade and created by Richard Maltby, Jr., “Ring Of Fire” dramatizes the story of a man who grew up poor in America’s heartland and traveled the world on the strength of his music and talent. Throughout his journey, Johnny Cash finds love, success, faith, misadventure, heartache, redemption and the love of a good woman.

“Ring Of Fire is the only theatrical show Johnny Cash gave his approval for and endorsed,” said Jason Edwards, the original director of this production, which is being recreated by Randal Myler.

“The show celebrates the songs he wrote about the everyday man; songs about issues and experiences he dealt with; songs that gave voice to so many overlooked and forgotten people. The show tries to touch on every aspect of Mr. Cash’s life – his youth, his faith, his struggles, and his triumphs. It’s also a story about love.”

More than a musical biography, “Ring of Fire” looks at Mr. Cash’s life thematically.  From his early years picking cotton in hardscrabble fields to super stardom, the show chronicles both the lows and highs of the man who traversed musical genres from county and rock to folk and gospel.  It is but a sampling of the more than 40 songs that Cash, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member had to his credit.

Mr. Cash was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame.  He placed 48 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and more than 130 hits on the Billboard country singles chart, more than anyone in history.

Ticket prices are $25-$80 and are available in-person in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art box office or by calling 520-622-2823.  Tickets are available in person in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center, or by calling 602-256-6995 or online for performances in both cities at www.arizonatheatre.org.

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