GREENE – Since August 1, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash has packed Greene’s Chenango River Theatre, 991 State Highway 12, and with all the regularly scheduled future performances already sold out or soon-to-be sold out, the show has been held over through September 8.
Four more performances of the show have been added, Sept. 5-8. By the end of the run, the cast and crew will have performed 20 times, making this performance the longest run in the company’s history.
The cast and crew have clearly worked hard during rehearsals, or perhaps the members of the cast have simply known each other for a long time. The chemistry between the performers onstage is undeniable, and the talent is outstanding.
Director and choreographer Chris Blisset has directed this show three times previously and this Chenango River Theatre performance is his fourth time as musical director and choreographer.
“As rehearsals begin, I always tell them (the cast) that the key to the show is the music,” stated Blisset. “If we treat the music with respect, the rest will fall into place. The crux of the music lies in authority and authenticity with the ease of someone born to it.”
The show’s cast - Jennie Malone, Andrew Keeler, Diego Diaz, and Mike Rosengarten - take Blisset’s advice and rolls with it. The talent is undeniable. They bring the music to life, music first performed by Johnny Cash, the man in black himself.
At times, the show is hilarious, yet other moments are downright emotional, akin to Cash’s musical repertoire.
When characters are performing in the foreground, be sure to keep an eye on the performers in the dimly lit background. Some of the tightest chemistry and ease came from those moments in the show.
Andrew Keeler, Eddie, appears in his first performance at the Chenango River Theatre with Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. Keeler has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Elon University and many performances under his belt. Seemingly random nods, glances, smirks and smiles, while quite possibly choreographed into his part, come across so naturally and it’s the little details like this that help make performances that extra bit of great.