Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ring of Fire:The Music of Johnny Cash

Deb Lyons & David Lutken
People’s Light, located at 39 Conestoga Road in Malvern, Pa is presenting Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash through August 14 on its Leonard C. Haas Stage. The extraordinarily talented and multifaceted nine-member ensemble cast enraptures the audience whether or not they are Johnny Cash fans. The show is just a pure delight. Over 30 songs are divided into 7 categories, among them, The Grand Ol’ Opry, The Johnny Cash TV Show and Prison.  Some songs tell a story that involves the entire ensemble.  Others use duets, or groups of three or six to relate the tale. There are frequent costume changes that are very proficiently done. Every cast member can sing, dance, act and play instruments, While Nyssa Duchow’s command of the fiddle is nothing short of brilliant, she additionally  plays the mandolin and the accordion.  Although Helen Jean Russell begins the show playing the bass, two other members of the ensemble have a turn at it too. Helen also plays the autoharp or zither; others share the accordion; several members use percussive instruments; two cast members play the harmonica and a trumpet makes a short appearance. All nine cast members play a guitar as they line up in the number I’ve Been Everywhere. There are many humorous moments as well, such as the enactment of A Boy Named Sue and The Duck Sisters’ lackluster performance at The Grand Ol’ Opry. If you live in New Jersey, as I do, it’s an hour’s drive to the theatre but this production is worth every minute of the ride. Thursday evenings are Hootenanny nights and everyone is encouraged to bring an instrument and jam out with the cast after the performance. For more information or tickets, call the box office at 610-644-3500.  Groups of 10 or more can get a discount by calling 610-647-1900 x111.

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