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Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash 

When: Fri., May 22, 8 p.m., Sat., May 23, 7 p.m., Sun., May 24, 7 p.m., Mon., May 25, 3 p.m., Sat., May 30, 6 p.m., Sun., May 31, 8 p.m., Wed., June 3, 8 p.m. and Sun., June 7, 5 p.m. 2009
Phone: (888) 374-2656
Price: $27, $25/students, seniors

Piccolo Spoleto Theatre Series at Footlight Theater. A South Carolina premiere of the Broadway hit. An exhilarating, foot stomping celebration of America’s legendary Man in Black. From the heart of the songs of Johnny Cash comes a unique musical. Featuring "I Walk the Line," "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I’ve Been Everywhere," and many more. (90 min.)

The Buzz:

WHAT IS IT? A ring of fire is a circle of volcanic activity, shaking the Pacific Ocean, and that’s just what you’ll get here: some soul-stirring classic songs that’ll rev you right on up. 

WHY SEE IT? Sure, the music of the Man in Black got a great big boost from the 2005 release of Walk the Line, but all that really did was remind us of how good his music really is. This isn’t hair-dryer pop-country fluff; this is the real down-from-the-soul freight-train rumble, the music that established Cash as one of the most influential men ever to wield a guitar on stage. City Paper theater critic Jon Santiago said his “vote for most affecting ensemble piece is easily awarded: the medley that begins with the old standard ‘Angel Band’ and weaves its way into ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ ... [It] pulled out all the stops for heart-tugging emotion. It made an already vibrant evening all the more memorable.”

WHO SHOULD GO? Anyone with an ear for good hard-driving American music who understands life isn’t just giggles or sorrows but can still put in a hard day’s work, come home, give that special someone a little bit of lovin’, slip their boots back on, and head on out to the show. That’s who. (Jason A. Zwiker)

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