In form, "Ring of Fire" hovers between the usual singalong and storybook styles. Using songs recorded by Mr. Cash between 1955 and 2002 (many of them written by other composers), the show follows a sort of ages-of-man path from green country-boy idealism into the sloughs of a hard-living musician's disillusionment and on up to the mountains of spiritual redemption. This progression is framed by renditions of one of Mr. Cash's last recorded hits ("Hurt") and one of his earliest ("Hey Porter").
The central singers don't even inspire the kind of appellations that usually attach themselves to the cast members of such shows — you know, "the sassy one," "the sincere one," "the sexy one." Instead, I found myself referring to them in my notes with descriptions like "Courteney Cox look-alike" and "man with facial hair."
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
When will we know the apocalypse is upon us? When a Trent Reznor tune is sung in a feel-good Broadway musical. From the NY Times review of the Johnny Cash-themed musical "Ring of Fire":