Ring of Fire burns up Theatre NorthWest stage

A show presented at Theatre NorthWest sees five actors playing 10 instruments showcasing 33 songs during Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash which tells the amazing life story of the legend himself through song.

By popular demand the show has been extended until Dec. 23 and director Anna Russell said she knows those who love to sit back and be entertained by talented musicians can look forward to a real treat.

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"It's pretty spectacular what these actors and musicians are capable of on stage," Russell said. "It's really quite amazing to watch."

There is quite a variety of musical genres within the production.

"You've got some really beautiful ballads, a lot of fun more upbeat country songs and there's a lot of moments, especially with the recordings Johnny Cash did in Folsom prison and when he spent time at the Grand Ole Opry and what that represents and you picture it one way - or at least I did - and then you find out there were some comedy acts and stuff that were part of it and so it's interesting because there's not really a specific genre flavour. You find that it touches on everything and I found it wasn't what I was expecting when I first heard about Ring of Fire."

For most of Russell's directing experience it's been at Judy Russell Presents where those working on a production are trying to fit it into their already busy lives.

"Ring of Fire is unique in that some of the actors are local, some of them are brought in from out of town but they are kind of making this their full time commitment for about a three-week rehearsal process and then for the run of the show so the process changes a little bit in that regard," Russell.

The biggest difference Russell added was the expectations of the actors to be acting, singing and playing their musical instruments while a Judy Russell Presents production usually has a full orchestra providing the music.

"So this is pretty unique in that," Russell said.

Curtis Abriel is a local actor musician and was also the music director for Ring of Fire.

"So he and I had to work quite closely together to manage the rehearsals and the work load to make sure everything managed to make its way onto the stage in that short of a rehearsal time," Russell said.

Tickets are at www.theatrenorthwest.com.

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