Edmonton theatre production puts musicians in the leading role with Ring of Fire at the Citadel

A new show at the Citadel Theatre is celebrating an iconic American musician.

Over two dozen Johnny Cash songs are featured in Ring of Fire, chronicling the “man in black” from his early days to the mid-80s.

Originally done on Broadway, the show’s director Tracey Flye says this version has been reworked to loosely follow Cash’s life through song.

You won’t find a pit orchestra at this performance, each of the five-person ensemble sings and plays their own instruments.

“They’re multi-instrumentalists,” said Flye. “Some of them play as many as five instruments in the show.”

“It’s kind of a new trend in terms of having the actors play the instruments themselves,” Flye said. “So they are the band… They play everything and accompany themselves.”

Flye said is was a challenge casting the show to feature talented actors, singers and musicians.

“Finding people who have the musicianship to play as many instruments as they need to plus be able to sing, act and move comfortably throughout the piece, it’s not easy,” said Flye.

Ring of Fire runs at the Citadel Theatre until Aug. 11.

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