As a performer, director Jason Edwards' appearance and style most closely approximate Cash's charisma. Edwards is frequently tapped to recount parts of the singer's biography, as in the "Man in Black" segment where Cash describes why he wears black before singing the iconic number. Edwards is most frequently paired with Michelle Duffy, who lends legato phrasing and an expressive tone to "All Over Again." Troy Burgess' emotional tenor captures the lonesome feelings of the introspective "Sunday Morning Coming Down," and Christa Jackson adds a Southern twang and saucy demeanor to "Cry Cry Cry."
Tom Mason's work on guitar and harmonica, Brantley Kearns' fiddle work, and John W. Marshall's percussive style of bass contribute mightily. Some of the best set pieces involve all 10 performers, such as a hoedown-style treatment of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." Jeff Lisenby's music direction and Jane Lanier's musical staging enliven Lisenby and Steven Bishop's inventive orchestrations, and John Iacovelli's versatile set encompasses a backwoods shack, a prison, and the Grand Ole Opry. This is a superb show not just for Cash's fans but for all fans of the genre and anyone who loves music.
Presented by McCoy Rigby Entertainment at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. June 5–21. Tue.–Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. (562) 944-9801. www.lamiradatheatre.com.