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Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
The intimate setting of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater is well-suited for the ups and downs of Cash's career.

Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series of releases, some of which were made in the last months of his life, are powerful testaments to the singer’s strength and spirit, even as he approached the grave. In those waning months, Cash also gave his blessing to a Broadway musical about his life, which resulted in Richard Maltby Jr.’s ill-fated Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, which had a very short Broadway run in 2006. Maltby had hits with other “jukebox” musicals, but it’s no surprise that the Great White Way and the Man in Black were uneasy company. The show is better suited to intimate venues like the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret, which is why we’re looking forward to revisiting both the ups (“I Walk the Line”) and downs (“Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart”) of Cash’s career.

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (March 1-May 5). Stackner Cabaret. Milwaukee Repertory Theater. 108 E. Wells St., 414-224-9490, milwaukeerep.com.

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