The director of the new Johnny Cash stage musical, "Ring of Fire," struggles to define exactly what the show is, but one thing is certain -- no one portrays the country music legend known as "The Man in Black." "This isn't a biography," director Richard Maltby told reporters on Wednesday at a rehearsal for the show that starts previews on Broadway next month for a March 12 opening. "It's 38 songs without connecting material, but it's not a revue," he said.
"It has a story, it has characters," he continued, but no plot. "It's some other kind of theater piece, a play made up of songs. It's a book-musical without a book."
Confused? All will become clear, Maltby said, when audiences see what he calls a classic tale of American life -- not Cash's own life but the story of an everyman who emerges from the songs he wrote.
...Producer Bill Meade spent five years persuading Cash to give his approval for a musical.... Meade said Cash was a big fan of Broadway and was excited about the prospect of a musical using his songs, though he was uncertain when the subject first came up. "He said, 'Do you feel that my material is good enough?"' Meade told Reuters.
When it comes to Broadway shows, it's not the heat, it's the humility. (The same goes with karate.)