"Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash" To Play In Thousand Oaks
A multi-talented cast and onstage band bring to life the famous songs of ‘The Man In Black’ when Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” makes its Thousand Oaks premiere at the Civic Arts Plaza.
Directed by and starring original Broadway star Jason Edwards, Ring of Fire opens on Friday, February 3, 2012, and plays until Sunday, February 12, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks. Louis B. Robin, Cash’s longtime friend and estate manager, is lending his time and rich history to Cabrillo’s production.
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“Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” uses the music of the man to bring to life the joys and sorrows of this music legend. Says Jason Edwards, the show’s director and star, “Ring of Fire is the only theatrical show Mr. Cash ever gave his approval for and endorsed. The show’s concept was never to have someone impersonate Mr. Cash, but to get underneath his image and present what he was trying to say in his lyrics. And to select performers who in some way might convey the essence of his southern style and roots.”
Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” boasts a cast of 10 performers and musicians, all nationally recognized for their work. Joining Edwards onstage is Kelli Provart, longtime Southern California theatre mainstay and recent Ovation Award nominee; Broadway veteran Troy Burgess; and recording artist Trenna Barnes. They join a gathering of musicians with generations of experience in the theatre, concert, and recording worlds. Together they weave a musical portrait of Johnny Cash, culminating in a concert that will both move and exhilarate.
In addition to Jason Edwards, the staff of “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” includes Jeff Lisenby as Musical Director, with choreography by Jane Lanier. Cabrillo Music Theatre is also pleased to announce that Louis B. Robin, Cash’s longtime friend and estate manager, is playing a role in the project, providing invaluable insight and anecdotes about the Man in Black.
Continuing Cabrillo’s Outreach program launched this season, Ring of Fire will feature a signed performance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on Friday, February 10. Although the highs and lows of Cash’s life are explored through song, RING OF FIRE is suitable for all audiences, and promises to be a foot-stompin’, crowd-pleasin’ good time.
About the creative team:
Jason Edwards (Director/Actor) starred On Broadway in Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash at the Barrymore Theatre, and is featured on the original cast recording. Subsequently, he has directed Ring of Fire at the La Mirada Theatre (SoCal premiere), FCLO Music Theatre, The California Center for the Arts, and most recently for Arkansas Repertory Theatre. His directorial credits across the United States include Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Chicago's Marriott Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Maine State Music Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, Jupiter Theatre, among others. Off-Broadway he was in the original cast of Johnny Guitar (Century Center), Of Mice and Men (Mint Theatre), Honky Tonk Angel (Lambs Theatre). National Tours include Pump Boys and Dinettes (Director), Man of La Mancha (with John Raitt), The Will Rogers Follies (understudy for Larry Gatlin in the title role). Regionally he has played leading roles at Denver Center Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Buffalo Studio Arena, Arizona Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Barter Theatre. Jason has been featured on the TODAY Show on NBC, The Nashville Network, and Country Music Television (with Ricky Skaggs). As a young boy growing up in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, he first saw Johnny Cash and June Carter live in 1969 at the Charlotte Coliseum.
Jane Lanier (Choreographer/Assistant Director) has just finished directing Bad Dog by Jennifer Hoppe-House, starring Jennie Garth, Anne Ramsay, Robert Foxworth and Valerie Harper at The Blank Theatre, and Stoned Soul Picnic: The Music of Laura Nero at The Barre. Other credits include: choreographing and producing the short art film Spells starring John Glover and John Lithgow, Not Your Time starring Jason Alexander and Valarie Pettiford (Winner - Best Short Film - Boston International Film Festival and New Media Film Festival LA, Guys and Dolls (Broadway 2009, Associate Choreographer), Cabaret (UCLA), Pippin (Director/Choreographer AMDA LA), No Way To Treat A Lady (Colony Theatre), Kiss Of The Spiderwoman (Musical Theatre Guild), Little Fish, Wild Party (The Blank Theatre Co, LA Weekly and Beverly Garland Awards, Ovation and NAACP Award Nominations), Ring Of Fire (La Mirada, Fullerton and AR Rep), Johnny Guitar (Off-Broadway at The Century Theatre and at La Mirada), Smokey Joe’s Café and Pippin (Associate Choreographer, Fifth Ave Theatre Seattle), Kiss Me Kate (Musical Theatre West), Nightingale (Vineyard Theatre NYC). For the last year and a half of his life, Jane was blessed to work as choreographer to the late Blake Edwards on his new musical Big Rosemary.
Jeff Lisenby (Music Director) was in the original cast of Ring Of Fire on Broadway and several subsequent versions, and he was keyboardist for: Tennessee Rep's Grease, Big River, A Chorus Line, and Fiddler On The Roof, and for touring shows of: Wicked, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Annie Get Your Gun, and City Of Angels. He has toured with: The Diamonds, the Mills Brothers, Boots Randolph, and Brenda Lee, and has accompanied: Pavarotti, David Cassidy, Lee Greenwood, Donna Summer, Tricia Yearwood, Three-Dog Night, Mel Tormé, and many others. Lisenby has been a silver and bronze medalist in international accordion championships, and he is a music instructor at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Jeff instructs singers for cruise ship production shows, so he has been blessed to get to travel all over the world. Jeff Lisenby has played on numerous recordings, including the Grammy-winning children’s album “Songs from the Neighborhood” the music of Mister Rogers. Lisenby’s jazz accordion CD “A Spy in Tortuga” is available at his website: www.jefflisenby.com.
Louis B. Robin personally managed Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash from 1973 until their passing in 2003. In 1957, Lou and college friends founded Concerts, Incorporated, which later became Artists Consultants Productions. Under Lou’s direction, the company produced or promoted over four thousand concerts worldwide during the forty-four year period. The company also produced feature films, theatre in the round, an off-Broadway show in New York with Monty Python and promoted more than two dozen summer series concerts at the Hollywood Bowl featuring such stars as Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter, Paul & Mary, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Artists Consultants concert promotions figured prominently in the early career development of such artists as The Kingston Trio, Tijuana Brass, Bill Cosby, Carpenters, Simon & Garfunkel, Steve Martin, Stevie Wonder, first Rolling Stones tour of the West coast, Beatles close-circuit filming of the Washington concert as well as promoting their 1965 San Diego concert, and many more. Lou’s company became the first with the capability of presenting an artist anywhere in the world. In 1969, Artist Consultants began promoting concerts with The Johnny Cash Show. Not only throughout North America, but opening European Communist Bloc countries, (Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) as well as New Zealand and Australian markets to Cash’s American Country Music. Lou also performed promotion services with Hawaiian superstar, Don Ho in the 1960’s and then management from 2000 until his longtime friend’s death in 2007. Currently, Lou works in the Business Affairs wing of the Johnny Cash Trust, dealing with record companies, merchandise and music licensing.
About the cast
Trenna Barnes is proud to make her Cabrillo Music Theatre debut in Ring of Fire. National radio commercials: Pepsi Cola and Lipton Iced Tea, as well as myriad regional TV commercials. Trenna’s credits include writing and singing songs for major motion pictures including “The 5th Quarter” staring Andie MacDowell. As lead singer and main songwriter for her all-girl band Cowboy Crush, Trenna has headlined over 500 shows and been on countless national and regional television programs including singing the Star Spangled Banner for the Daytona 500. Trenna has performed in over 25 different countries alongside Charlie Daniels, Jason Aldean, Sugarland, Miranda Lambert. Cowboy Crush also opened for Reba McEntire, Trace Adkins, Kellie Pickler, Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley
Troy Burgess – Favorite Credits: AIDA (Original Broadway Cast) – Starlight Express “Greaseball” (1st Int.) – Nobody Lonesome for Me (originated role of “Hank Williams” in this one-man show) – West Side Story “Snowboy” (30th Ann. Prod. w/ original choreography). Other: Multiple stage performances and videos with Michael Jackson, Cher, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul. Television & Film: Series Regular roles in 2 NBC Pilots, GLEE, Annie, Cinderella, Wild, Wild West, The New Muppet Movie, and over 65 National Commercials.
Kelli Provart is thrilled to be returning to the Cabrillo stage after 13 years, her last performance here was playing “Lina Lamont” in Singin in the Rain. Some of her other favorite credits include “Amneris” in Aida on Broadway (also in the 1st National Tour where she won the Helen Hayes Award), “June Carter Cash” in Ring of Fire, “Grizabella” in Cats (Ovation Nomination), “Linda” in The Wedding Singer, Beehive, “Narrator” in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, “Miss Sandra” in All Shook Up, “Pattie” in Smokey Joes Cafe, “Lucy” in Jekyll and Hyde, “Sandy” in Grease and “Eliza” in My Fair Lady. Some television credits include: "That’s Life", "Problem Child 3", "The Indiana Jones Special".
John Foley (Guitar, Harmonica) is an original author and cast member of Pump Boys and Dinettes, (Tony and Olivier Awards Nominations for Best Musical). Other credits include Diamond Studs (Chelsea Westside Theater), Smoke on the Mountain (Lamb’s Theater), As You Like It (Theater Virginia), Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas (Alley Theater), Blue Window (Alliance Theater), Smoke and Mirrors (Oldcastle Theater), Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues (Northlight Theater), Cowboys Dream (Theater-by-the-Sea).
Brantley Kearns (Fiddle) began playing violin at age four and continued classical training on the instrument through high school. By the age of ten he was starting to play traditional fiddle tunes of the Southeast, learning “first hand” from the veteran fiddle players at local square dances where his father was a frequent caller and dance promoter. After a year at UNC, Brantley traveled west where he attended Merritt College and S.F. State College, studying drama and simultaneously becoming part of the bluegrass music scene in the Bay Area of the late 60’s and early 70’s. In 1973, he received a call to join the David Bromberg Band in New York. Returning to L.A. in late 1976, he was soon working with numerous country bands during the heyday of the original Urban Cowboy era. He toured with Bobbi Gentry and Jim Stafford during this period. Brantley recorded and toured with Dwight Yoakam’s original band from 1984-1988.
John W. Marshall (Bass Guitar) studied classical violin with the famed pedagogue Ervin H. Kleffman, and later at Occidental College with the legendary concert violinist Robert Gross. John’s love of folk, bluegrass, and country music led him to pursue both fiddle and bass fiddle: he was inspired by Hee Haw’s incomparable fiddler Don Rich, and was mentored in slap-bass by Craig Bluemel. John has appeared as a soloist with orchestras across the USA, first with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Music Center and Hollywood Bowl, and then with the Pacific, Long Beach, Houston, New Mexico, Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Wichita, Pensacola, Grand Rapids, San Antonio, and Phoenix Symphonies.
Brent Moyer (Guitar, Trumpet). Known as the “Global Cowboy”, he has shared the stage with many famous artists from country star Willie Nelson to pop diva Donna Summer and has played lead guitar for the legendary, Lynn Anderson (Rose Garden). As a producer and studio musician, he appears on numerous CD’s and has also recorded ten albums of original material with his songs being covered by artists in Europe and North America. Credits include the world premiere of Ring of Fire (Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, 2005), Broadway debut in Ring of Fire (Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NYC, 2006). Co-creator and bandleader of the “Chili Shack Show”, a musical variety TV show in Nashville.
Mark San Filippo (Drums). A Los Angeles native, Mark graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA earning a BA in Ethnomusicology with a concentration in Jazz Studies. At UCLA he was mentored by famed jazz drummer Billy Higgins. He also studied with guitarist Kenny Burrell, band leader Gerald Wilson, bassist Roberto Miranda and pianist Herbie Hancock. Mark began playing professionally on drum set, orchestral percussion and hand percussion as a teenager. Mark currently performs throughout Southern California as a band leader, sideman and recording artist.
“Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” opens Friday, February 3, 2012 and runs through Sunday, February 12. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. A post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience will follow the Saturday, February 4 matinee performance. A signed performance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing will take place on Friday, February 10.
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks or through any Ticketmaster location or by phone (800) 745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, please call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8613. Ticket prices range from $30-$76. Discounts available for seniors on all performances. For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).
Subscriptions are now on sale for Cabrillo Music Theatre’s 2011-2012 mini-season: “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” (February 2012); “Once Upon A Mattress” (April 2012); and “Meet Me In St. Louis” (July 2012).
Cabrillo Music Theatre performs exclusively at the Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Bank of America Performing Arts Center, at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.