There's a loose story that ties all the songs together about a guy travelling on a train that at the beginning of the revue he hears rolling - rollin' round the bend. This allows the cast to travel in time from the beginning of Johnny's career to the end.
Some of it is a little hokey but that's typical of a Broadway show that is meant for all ages. Like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, there was a little physical humour to appeal to the younger and less cerebral members of the audience. The edgier points are inferred from the music and the acting that was being done simultaneously with the singing. One of the funnier numbers is sung by one of the cast members performing as a prisoner in Folsom Prison - about how he missed Delia, the woman that he loved and then killed.
The most popular number was definitely I've Been Everywhere, Man. It starts slowly with 3 guitar players performing the main theme and ends with all 12 cast members on stage, each playing the guitar although I suspect that only 8 of them were really playing. So popular in fact that the people who sell the show's souvenirs made a T-shirt with that specific phrase.
As with all Broadway shows, Ring of Fire has a gimmicky, hokey souvenir stand called The General Store done up in a Western fashion to match the flavor of the show.
This normally plain brown t-shirt is a 50/50 cotton/poly blend, yet if look closely at the sign,
you'll see that this cheap little t-shirt cost $30.00. Yes. $30.00 is what it says and while I stood at my booth waiting to hand out headsets, I witnessed many people buying them two and three at a time.
Speaking of my booth, I bet you're having a hard time wrapping your mind around what it is I'm doing exactly. Basically, I work for a company that provides a free service to those that are having trouble hearing. During the half hour before the show while people are walking in and during intermission, I stand in front of this booth and wait for people to come over to me and request a headset.
Each of those yellow dots is a piece of tape with a number that helps keep track of the headsets.
The patron gives me a license usually that I hold while they enjoy the show with device. At the end of the show, we make a final exchange and they go on their merry way.
In the between times, I am free to watch the show if I choose. I chose to do it on Sunday. Although I listened to the show during the shifts previous to that. Now, I understand that country music isn't for everybody. What I don't understand is why this show received bad reviews.
It's good for what it is. I recommend it to those of you that like the music of Johnny Cash or country music in general. If you thought that typical Broadway wasn't for you because the musical style threatens your heterosexuality, then this show is for you. Because it is the least gay Broadway musical I have ever seen.