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BWW Review: RING OF FIRE Pays Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Johnny Cash at Georgia Ensemble Theatre


BWW Review: RING OF FIRE Pays Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Johnny Cash at Georgia Ensemble Theatre

On a gorgeous summer evening in Georgia, there's nothing better than sitting outside and enjoying some classic music on the banks of a river. Georgia Ensemble Theatre has the perfect opportunity to do so, with the return of their popular engagement RING OF FIRE playing at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. The lightly-produced show is a chronological musical revue, highlighting the struggles and successes of one of America's most prolific singer-songwriters: Johnny Cash. The ensemble cast (Laura Lindahl, Christopher Kent, Chris Damiano, Scott Depoy and Mark Schroeder) highlights vignettes from Cash's life, with over 20 of Cash's biggest hit records woven throughout. The show shares the message of inspiration, perseverance and determination that all factored into Cash's many successes and struggles.

The show begins by detailing the tragedies of Johnny's poor childhood in Arkansas. His family's faith and love of gospel music had a profound impact on him - and influenced his future Signature Sound. As Johnny's life and career moved along, we see him travel to record at Sun Records in Memphis and to the famed Grand Ole Opry. There's duets between Johnny and his beloved wife and fellow artist June Carter Cash, and his infamous live album recorded at Folsom Prison.

The 5 cast members share various characters along the way, rotating between Johnny's family, his band mates, wife June, and Johnny himself. Their fluidity between characters is carefully choreographed, in addition to their rotation between banjos, guitars, piano and vocals. The actors make the most out of every inch of the relatively small stage, and succeed in allowing the audience to imagine Johnny in various places and situations without having props or background.

For fans of Johnny Cash's iconic music and career, this show is sure to please. Even the most moderate fan of Johnny Cash, Country music, or even American history would be captivated by the story told here. As shared toward the end of the performance, Johnny Cash has the distinct honor of being one of the only performers to be inducted into every major musical Hall of Fame - including the Rock & Roll, Country and Gospel. The impact and legacy of his incredible career can still be found today, 15 years after his death. Seeing this first hand while enjoying a relaxing evening spread out on the lawn with a picnic is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre's RING OF FIRE is playing at the Chattahoochee Nature Center July 12-28. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8pm. More details and tickets are available at

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