Cash Musical Ring of Fire to Open on Broadway in March '06

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Ring of Fire, the new musical based around the country standards of Johnny Cash, has confirmed a date for a Broadway opening; the show will begin previews at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) on February 8th, 2006, and open on March 12th.

The musical recently played a test run at the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, NY. The show will come to San Francisco's Curran Theatre in January 2006 before moving to Broadway.

Conceived by Richard Meade, the small-scale show employs six actors and eight musicians who "bring to life through words and music the stories made famous in Johnny Cash's songs. The show features 38 of the music legend's songs such as 'Country Boy,' 'A Thing Called Love,' 'Five Feet High and Rising,' 'Daddy Sang Bass,' 'Ring of Fire,' 'I Walk the Line,' 'I've Been Everywhere,' 'The Man in Black,' and his final hit, 'Hurt,'" according to production notes.

Ring of Fire features Jarrod Emick (The Boy from Oz, Tony Award-winner for Damn Yankees), Cass Morgan (The Capeman, Beauty and the Beast), Jeb Brown (Aida), Pat McRoberts (Miss Saigon), Jason Edwards (Johnny Guitar), Beth Malone and gospel/country star Lari White, as well as musicians Laurie Canaan, Dan Immel, Ron Krasinski, Eric Anthony, David M. Lutken, Brent Moyer, Ken Triwush and Randy Redd.  

Ring of Fire boasts choreography by Lisa Shriver (assistant choreographer for Good Vibrations, Amour) and musical direction by Jeff Lisenby, as well as sets by Neil Patel ('night, Mother), lighting by Ken Billington (Dance of the Vampires, Chicago), sound by Peter Fitzgerald (La Cage aux Folles) and Carl Casella (A Raisin in the Sun) and costumes by David Woolard (All Shook Up).  The show
is presented by William Meade, CTM Productions, G-Four Productions, Robert Cuillo and James B. Freydberg, who also serves as executive producer.

The versatile Maltby is a practiced hand with musicals that showcase the songs of famous composers and lyricists, as well as choreographers; he staged and conceived the Fats Waller revue Ain't Misbehavin' (winning a Tony Award in the process), and directed and co-concieved the Tony Award-winning song-and-dance tribute Fosse. An acclaimed lyricist, he co-wrote Miss Saigon's lyrics and with regular collaborator David Shire, he has penned the lyrics to the revues Closer Than Ever and Starting Here, Starting Now as well as the musicals Baby and Big; Take Flight is a new Maltby and Shire work currently in development.

"Taken together, Johnny Cash's songs seem to tell an almost mythic story of America," Maltby mused of the singer/songwriter, who passed away in 2003. "I think the humanity, the humor, the sexiness, the emotional depth will be a revelation to most theatre audiences."

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