HART salutes music of Johnny Cash

'Ring of Fire' opens May 24
May 21, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo 'Ring of Fire' opens May 24 at HART in Waynesville.

You don’t have to be a fan of country music to love Johnny Cash.

The iconic singer/song writer left a mark on popular culture that crossed boundaries. It’s hard to believe the “Man in Black” has been gone for nearly 10 years but his music continues and makes its bow on the HART stage with the group’s next production.

“Ring of Fire” takes its name from one of Cash’s greatest hits. The show opened on Broadway in March 2006 and unlike many jukebox musicals, it doesn’t have an actor portray Cash, but simply celebrates the man and his music.

“To me, Johnny Cash's biography wasn't the most important story available to tell. Taking all the songs together, adding in the life he led, the person he was, the people he knew, loved, and sang about, it seemed to me that there was another story here," show creator Richard Maltby has said. "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 the love of a good woman — and eventually returning home.

"It's about the journey of a man in search of his own soul, which is in fact what emerges when you consider all the details of Cash's life together. That seemed to be a worthy story to put on a stage — and the best part is we could tell it entirely through the songs."

HART’s production is being directed by Mark Jones with music direction by Kelli Brown Mullinix. The show features a talented cast which includes Mandy Wildman, Matthew Curry (the young man who performed Cash’s music last fall in Haywood’s Got Talent) Ed Mathis, Dominic Aquilino and Clara Burrus. All are musicians who play and sing in the show. The five member back-up band includes two members from the local group “Sons of Ralph.”

Show times are at 7:30 p.m. May 24-25, 31, June 1, 7-8, 14-15 and at 3 p.m. May 26, June 2, 9 and 16 at Performing Arts Center at the Shelton House, 250 Pigeon St. Waynesville, NC 28786.

Tickets cost $24 for adults, $22 for seniors, and $12 for students and teachers. Special $8 discount tickets are available for students and teachers on Sundays.

Box office hours are 1-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For reservations, call 456 6322. Tickets also are available on line at www.harttheatre.com