Contributed/Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre
VERNON - The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre proudly presents Western Canada Theatre and Chemainus Theatre’s production of Ring of Fire on Monday, March 6 2017 at 7:30pm at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. Ring of Fire is the third performance of five in the Society’s 2016/17 Theatre series.
Western Canada Theatre and Chemainus Theatre Festival is proud to co-produce the ultimate tribute to the iconic Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire. This adaption from the Broadway show, tells the story of finding love, success, faith and redemption. Performed by a multi-talented cast, this production includes all of Cash’s classic hits, including "I Walk the Line," “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the title tune. A powerful tribute to the Man in Black, an endlessly entertaining journey that will leave you cheering for more!
Tickets for Ring of Fire are $45 for adults, $42 for Seniors and $40 for Students. Call the Ticket Seller at 250-549-SHOW (7469) or log on line to www.ticketseller.ca for tickets and more information.
The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre thanks the following sponsors for their generous support: AcuTruss, the Brown Derby Café, Kal Tire, Streaky Clean, Fairfield Inn & Suites, the Vernon Morning Star, 107.5 KISS FM, the Okanagan Advertiser, the British Columbia Arts Council, the North Okanagan Regional District and the Government of Canada.
AUTHOR'S NOTES by Richard Maltby, Jr.
Bill Meade got the idea for putting the music of Johnny Cash on the stage. Many people had approached Johnny over the years, but only Bill's idea convinced him, and just before he died in 2003, Johnny Cash gave Bill the stage rights to this material.
When Bill asked me to create the theatrical show out of the music of Johnny Cash, he gave me a stack of CDs and books about two feet high (and rising). I listened and read and began to think, and several things became immediately clear. First, we shouldn't attempt to put Johnny Cash himself on stage. The persona, the voice, are not duplicable, and the very best we could achieve would be a poor imitation. Second, as fascinating as Johnny Cash's life was, it seemed to me that dramatizing it no stage would not enhance it. A film could do that, perhaps, and indeed there is a movie coming out soon called I WALK THE LINE, which will probably dramatize his life very well.
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. 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.
I refer to this as a story, but you won't find a plot, or dramatized scenes, on stage in this entertainment. The details are there for those who chose to find them, but along with them are glimpses of the world Cash lived in—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. Humor is what gets you through this life, as these songs often show—and the simple hungers that draw one person to another are addressed with complete directness. These songs are full love and feeling, wit and understanding, and like all country songs, they tell it like it is.
I have complete faith that although we do not dramatize Johnny Cash's life, by the end of the show the audience will feel that they have spent the evening in the presence of an extraordinary and real man. In many ways, Johnny Cash wrote and sang about the lives we lead, regardless of where we lead them. If, watching this show, you feel yourself being drawn back to your roots, it isn't accidental—even if you've forgotten what those roots are. I hope, as we bring to life these wonderful songs, we will touch your heart, mind and soul as well, and take you back to part of your life you may want to return to.
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