Stage Door News

New York: Former Stratford Festival Artistic Director Des McAnuff will direct new Johnny Cash musical

Friday, April 29, 2022

The life of the late country music singer Johnny Cash will be explored in a new Broadway-aimed musical, according to the New York Post.

Tony winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy) will direct the production, currently titled Johnny & June. June refers to Grammy-winning singer-songwriter June Carter Cash, the second wife of Johnny Cash. The lives of the late couple were previously documented in the 2005 film Walk the Line, co-starring Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix.

McAnuff is writing the musical's libretto with Robert Cary, and Tommy Mottola is producing with The Dodgers. Mottola and McAnuff previously collaborated on Groundhog Day, A Bronx Tale: The Musical, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and Girl From the North Country, which returns to Broadway April 29.

Born J. R. Cash February 26, 1932, Grammy winner Johnny Cash's signature tunes included "Man in Black," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," "Ring of Fire," "A Boy Named Sue," and "Get Rhythm." Mr. Cash, who sold more than 90 million records, passed away September 12, 2003. June Carter Cash died May 15, 2003.

Ring of Fire, a musical that drew from the catalog of songs written and made famous by the late Cash, opened on Broadway March 12, 2006. The production, created and directed by Richard Maltby Jr., did not offer a strict biography of Cash, but rather the essence of an American experience.

By Andrew Gans for

Photo: Des McAnuff.