RING OF FIRE to Open 7/30 at Saint Michael's Playhouse

RING OF FIRE to Open 7/30 at Saint Michael's Playhouse

Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Chuck Tobin today announced the opening of Richard Maltby, Jr.'s musical tribute to Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire (Wednesday, July 30 - Saturday, August 9, 2014).

From the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash comes this unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, home and family.

Ring of Fire is the story of a man in search of his own soul," says Producing Artistic Director Chuck Tobin. "A worthy story to put on stage-and the best part is it is told entirely through his songs. More than two dozen classic hits-including "I Walk The Line," "Jackson," "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Ring of Fire"-performed by an amazing multi-talented cast, paint a musical portrait of The Man in Black that promises to be a foot-stompin', crowd-pleasin' salute to a uniquely American legend!"

Author and creator of the original Broadway production Richard Maltby, Jr. says, "Ring of Fire is an unparalleled opportunity to visit the world Cash lived in-a world of home, and family, and the land; of hard work and adversity; of faith and love and compassion for people who lead hard lives or are down on their luck. 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 eventually returning home. Though he is not impersonated, his remarkable life story is told through his music, climaxing in a performance that will both move and exhilarate. By the end of the show the audience feels like they have spent the evening in the presence of an extraordinary and real man."

Performances begin on the Playhouse stage Wednesday, July 30. Performances are evenings 7/30 - 8/2 and 8/5 - 9 (8pm curtain), and Saturday matinees 8/2, 8/5, (2pm curtain).

Ring of Fire features professional company of actor/musicians - Chris Blisset, Andrew Ross Crowe, Amanda Ryan Paige, Mike Rosengarten, Larry Tobias.

Chris Blisset appeared in the National Tours of Stand by Your Man, Ring of Fire Pump Boys and Dinettes. Regional credits include Cotton Patch Gospel, The Full Monty, Twelfth Night, Keep on the Sunny Side, Smoke on the Mountain, Unnecessary Farce, Plaid Tidings, Civil War. He is currently in development for the new musical Basquiat. Ring of Fire marks Chris's Saint Michael's Playhouse debut.

Andrew Ross Crowe has performed across the country on the National Tours of Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, and Stand By Your Man. He has appeared in NYC's Shakespeare In The Park: Twelfth Night, and in over forty regional theater productions around the country. Ring of Fire marks Andrew's Saint Michael's Playhouse debut.

Amanda Ryan Paige appeared in the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Off-B'way in Zanna Don't!, Charlie Brown, Henry and Mudge. Other NYC credits include Trailer Park, Awesome 80's Prom, Lucky Stiff. Regional credits include Ring of Fire, No No Nanette, Noises Off. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Nunsense, Unnecessary Farce, Marvelous Wonderettes, Boeing Boeing, Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Mike Rosengarten appeared Off Broadway in The Three Penny Opera, The Dybbuk, Blood Wedding, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge and on the National Tour of Cabaret. Regional credits include Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Ring of Fire, I Love my Wife, Man of La Mancha, The Producers. Ring of Fire marks Mike's Saint Michael's Playhouse debut.

Larry Tobias' credits include the world premiere of Twenty-Seven at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival as actor and composer. Other credits include Cotton Patch Gospel, Bus Stop, and seven consecutive seasons at The Mountain Playhouse. He appeared in the first season of ABC's Nashville and is currently in development for the new musical Basquiat. Ring of Fire marks his Saint Michael's Playhouse debut.

Richard Maltby, Jr.'s Broadway credits include: conceived/directed Ain't Misbehavin' (Tony, NY Drama Critics, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Awards) and Fosse (Tony, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Awards), lyricist Miss Saigon (Evening Standard Award, Tony Nomination for Best Score), director/co-lyricist Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song & Dance, director/lyricist Baby (seven Tony Award nominations), lyricist Big (Tony nomination for Best Score). Off-Broadway credits include: director/lyricist Starting Here, Starting Now (Grammy Award nomination) and Closer than Ever (Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical, Best Score).

"We are excited to close our 67th season, with this production of Ring of Fire," said Tobin, "but equally exciting is the fact that the Playhouse received a major upgrade this winter. We've replaced every seat in the house with brand new, quiet, and comfortable theater seating. We've also replaced the carpet and made other upgrades to enhance the theater-going experience." Tobin continued "The old seats certainly served their purpose, having been installed in 1975 when the theater was built. After almost forty years of use nearly every seat had broken springs and had become very creaky and uncomfortable. The new seats are soft, durable fabric over polymer padding, featuring contoured armrests, lumbar support, and newly engineered springs for extra comfort.

Saint Michael's Playhouse is an Actors' Equity Association theater company owned and operated by Saint Michael's College. Actors' Equity Association is the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. The Playhouse produces its productions with theater artists from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater nationwide, along with a stellar company of Vermont-based actors, directors and designers. Tobin adds "We rehearse our shows right here in our theater and design and build all of our scenery, costumes and props on location with our crew of approximately 70 professional theater artists."

Saint Michael's Playhouse closes its 67th season of professional theater with Richard Maltby, Jr.'s Ring of Fire. Single ticket prices range from $32.50 to $43.50. Tickets may be purchased online at www.saintmichaelsplayhouse.org or by calling the Playhouse Box Office at 802-654-2281.

Photo by Brian MacDonald

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