NEW YORK – After ABBA, the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, John Lennon and the Four Seasons comes the music of country great Johnny Cash (search).
"Ring of Fire, The Johnny Cash Musical Show" (search) will begin performances on Broadway in February at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. An opening date has not been set.
Such Cash standards as "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," "A Boy Named Sue" and "Daddy Sang Bass" will be showcased in the musical.
The production doesn't put Cash on stage but instead creates an impressionistic picture of the man, his music and the times in which he lived. Cash died Sept. 12, 2003, at age 71.
"Ring of Fire" was created by Richard Maltby Jr. and William Meade and features a cast that includes Jarrod Emick, Cass Morgan, Jeb Brown and Lari White. Maltby, the man behind the Fats Waller revue, "Ain't Misbehavin'," directs.
The show received favorable reviews in its world premiere engagement at Buffalo's Studio Arena where the run ends Oct. 9.
The Buffalo News called the show "a fabulous piece of entertainment, a show that gracefully, beguilingly, transcends it own limits at every turn," while Variety, despite some reservations, described "Ring of Fire" as "hot. It just needs some careful tending to really burst into flame."
So-called "jukebox musicals" (search) have not had much success on Broadway since the arrival of the megahit "Mamma Mia!" in 2001. Among the shows closing at a loss have been "Good Vibrations," "All Shook Up" and "Lennon." "Jersey Boys," celebrating Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, could buck the trend. It opens Nov. 6.