RING OF FIRE Extends at Mercury Theatre

Ring of Fire - Cory Goodrich, Michael Monroe Goodman

Cory Goodrich, Michael Monroe Goodman. Photo courtesy of Ring of Fire Chicago, LLC

Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, is thrilled to announce that RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH has been extended through November 1. The musical tribute has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike and has broken sales records for Mercury Theater Chicago. “A good time with a great American artist!“ exclaimed Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune. Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times Highly Recommends the production saying it’s “A show ablaze with fire and unmitigated fun!”

Chris Jones also praised Kent M. Lewis’ portrayal of Johnny Cash saying, “Lewis does not wear the cloak of the Man in Black; he inhabits him.” Lewis explained that the key to transforming into Johnny each night is not to impersonate him, but to “remember that he was just a man trying to do the right thing, find the right word, hit the right note, trying to be a light under what seemed at times to be a veil of darkness.” Cory Goodrich added, “We are not impersonating them; we’re trying to capture the essence of them.” Michael Monroe Goodman explained that in order to take on the role of Johnny Cash that he “tried to understand what motivated him in life and on stage…what was his goal and what spoke to him in life.”

Producer Richard Friedman expressed his enthusiasm about the show’s success saying, “Our show has audiences leaping to their feet every performance. We’re finding that this is a great summer show for out of town visitors and locals alike.”

More than two dozen classic hits – including “I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the title tune – performed by a multi-talented cast, takes audiences on an inspired musical journey that has generated standing ovations at every show! From the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash comes this inspirational musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and home and family.  This tribute has been revised and refined from its original production at Theatre at the Center and is presented as a joint endeavor between Mercury Theater Chicago’s Executive Director L. Walter Stearns, Theatre at the Center’s General Manager Richard Friedman, and Brian Russell (Director).

Leading the cast as ‘Johnny Cash’ is Kent M. Lewis with Jeff Award-winner Cory Goodrich starring as ‘June Carter Cash’ and Michael Monroe Goodman as ‘Young Johnny’.  Rounding out the cast are talented multi-instrumentalist/performers Greg Hirte, Malcolm Ruhl, Billy Shaffer and Austin Cook.  The show has been reimagined by Director Brian Russell with Musical Direction by Malcolm Ruhl. The design team includes Scenic Designer Angie Miller; Lighting Designer Shelley Strasser-Holland; Sound Designer Barry G. Funderburg; Costume Designer Brenda Winstead and Props Designer Melissa Geel. The Stage Manager is Rebecca Green, the Production Manager/Technical Director is Ann Davis; and TATC’s General Manager is Richard Friedman.  TATC’s Artistic Director is William Pullinsi.

RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH is produced by special collaboration between a non-profit theater, Theatre at the Center in Munster, IN and a commercial theater, Mercury Theater Chicago.  Producers Richard Friedman and L. Walter Stearns are joined by Associate Producer Brian Russell.  This team has previously worked together at Northlight Theater and on the highly successful transfers from the suburbs to the city of ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE, MARK TWAIN AND THE LAUGHING RIVER and BUBBE MEISES.

Founded in 1991, Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home, The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana.  Its five Mainstage productions attract an audience of over 50,000 annually. Theatre at the Center operates on an Actors Equity contract and regularly employs the finest performers in the greater Chicago area for its year-round seasons of classic American musicals, new plays and comedies. Its mission is to present disciplines of the performing arts that are at once appealing, educational, and accessible to the entire community.

Mercury Theater Chicago recently produced THE ADDAMS FAMILY and the long-running hit AVENUE Q.  The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is an intimate jewel box of a theater in the heart of the Southport Corridor, a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful theater destination, Mercury Theater Chicago takes care of its guests from the moment they arrive with valet service, dining at its adjoining restaurant, Deleece.

The performance schedule for RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH from now through August 30, 2015 remains: Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 3pm and 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm and 7pm. For the extension (September 2 – November 1) the performance schedule will be Wednesdays at 8pm, Thursdays at 3pm and 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm and 7pm.
Individual tickets range from $25-$65, and are available online at www.MercuryTheaterChicago.com, over the phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.