The Season Opener for Actors’ Playhouse is Entertainment from Start to Finish
By J.P. Faber
There is something about the voice of actor Scott Moreau that is mesmerizing. Forget the fact that when he sings he sounds so much like Johnny Cash that if you close your eyes you would swear it was the man himself. But it’s when he speaks that you come under the spell, lulled by a rich, sonorous tone that makes you feel like you’re in a special, intimate space with, in this case, one of the great country singer-songwriters of all time.
If it’s Moreau’s voice that lures you into “Ring of Fire,” now playing at the Actors’ Playhouse at Miracle Theatre, it’s the music that knocks your socks off. With a cast of five uber-talented actor/musicians, “Ring of Fire” takes you through the musical career of the man from Arkansas, with famous hits like “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line,” and, of course, “Ring of Fire.”
What carries the musical is the ebullient energy of the cast of five, who play all the parts and all the instruments with world-class skill and downhome enthusiasm. Moreau, who also performed the role of Cash in the national Broadway tour of “Million Dollar Quartet,” could not be more convincing in the lead role, which he plays with aplomb and confidence.
Katie Barton is equally impressive at the irrepressible June Carter. She is a human spark plug, bursting with exhilaration, and as fearlessly country as a basket of fried chicken wrapped in a gingham picnic basket. She might have stolen the show except for Moreau’s embracing presence as Cash.
The other three members of the staff are all accomplished musicians, and alternately take the stage in vignettes as Johnny’s family, friends and musical colleagues. When all five are assembled, the experience feels as much like a close-up country music concert as a stage musical.
In the end, the litany of tunes by Cash and the energy with which they are played is irresistible. Ring of Fire is a rollicking musical ride through the life and tunes of one of America’s most iconic country superstars. If you weren’t a Johnny Cash fan before seeing the show, you will be afterwards – and left wondering why you weren’t before.
Actors’ Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre | 280 Miracle Mile | 305.444.9293 | Performances now through Dec. 22 | Wed. – Sat. 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m. | Tickets $30 – $75