PRESTONSBURG – The name Johnny Cash needs no introduction or explanation. The “Man in Black” embraced tradition with the love of his momma and older brother Jack, and yet he exercised the freedom to follow his own mind; he was both a god-fearing Christian and a rebellious outlaw. Jenny Wiley Theatre is currently presenting Ring of Fire; The Music of Johnny Cash, directed by Galloway Stevens. James Whited as Music Director and Ryann Willard as Production Manager. The production opens up with a dimly lit stage paying homage to the country, western roots of J. R. Cash, the Man in Black. Director Galloway Stevens comes home to Jenny Wiley, where he has directed shows such as Grease, South Pacific, and most recently the 2015 production of Charles Dickins’ classic, “A Christmas Carol.”
Ring of Fire is a musical tribute to the tragic, hard-living, woman chasing, and God-fearing man in black. Michael Amoroso comes back to Jenny Wiley after spending last summer in Denali National Park, Alaska as a performer for Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theatre. Susan Scott our very own Floyd County girl is the only female member of the cast. Scott’s southern voice, charm and dark brown hair is an eerie vision of June Carter on stage belting duets, such as everyone’s favorite, Jackson. Jason Layne is also an Eastern Kentucky native who not only sings, but also plays base. Sean Whiting, from the hills of West Virginia grew up in Eastern Kentucky with musical influences Hank Williams Jr., Alice in Chains, and the Allman Brothers. His style is a mixture of blues with a little bit of rock. Jason Goble is a well-known local boy who is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who won the 2014 winner of the Country Music Highway Road to Fame. Goble is the host of the Tuesday Night Songwriters Scene and proves he is a local musical treasure as he can strum a tune on the guitar and sing the song and melody too.
Director Galloway Stevens and Musical Director James Whited selected 29 of Johnny Cash’s most beloved and recognized songs such as A Boy Named Sue, Folsom Prison Blues, Man in Black, Walk the Line, Get Rhythm, Cry, Cry, Cry, and many more. The JWT production of Ring of Fire was sponsored by UK Healthcare. Orchestrations by Steven Bishop and Jeff Linseys, Ring of Fire was originally on Broadway directed by William Meade.
Lighting and Sound by Scenic/ Lighting Designer Darryl Willard, and Sound Designer Hunter Moody was the hallmark of this tribute by creating a mood and sound in the theatre that honored the dark and rebellious God-fearing man that is Johnny Cash.
Saturday, April 16 is the last opportunity to see the stompin country music performance. The production is performed on the Pikeville Main Stage located i an Pikeville. The next production being practiced will also take place on the Pikeville Mainstage on Thursday, April 28. Adult tickets are $25, Seniors 60-plus tickets are $22 and Youth 17 and under tickets are $14. These are advance ticket prices. Tickets at the door will be an additional $1.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606/886-8506.