There's a high-spirited celebration underway at the Drayton Festival Theatre as theatregoers are taken on a lively musical journey in this season's production of Johnny and June. Interweaving music and memories, this hand-clappin' salute to the incredible duo of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash is onstage now through August 11th.
"Johnny and June is a fun-filled tribute to true musical pioneers," says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "You can't help but tap your feet and sing along to their incredible musical catalogue."
One of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Johnny Cash has been characterized as an artist who lived a rebellious, challenging and complicated life. His story, like his music, was marked by a search for truth, inner peace, love and redemption. Johnny and June is an interesting biography that provides unique insights into the music and personal lives of country music's most renowned couple.
Theatregoers are taken back to the early years of Cash's career, beginning with the famous concert at Folsom Prison in 1968.Opening with the traditional, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash..." introduction, the band drops into a rousing rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues." As the show progresses, the distinctive bond between Johnny and June is revealed, from their tours together through their romantic courtship, and Cash's marriage proposal at a concert in London, Ontario.
Johnny Cash is performed by Aaron Solomon, who conveys the essence of Cash as a young man who was both shy and down-to-earth. His portrayal eventually transforms into the passionate legend, captivating the audience as he performs Cash's signature songs including "I Walk the Line," and "A Boy Named Sue." Indeed, Solomon seems to channel the iconic musician as he rolls through some of the deeper and darker tunes like "Busted," "Dark as a Dungeon" and "Long Black Veil". Solomon's voice captures the thick velvety sound that was a trademark of Cash throughout his career.
Colleen Aynn highlights June Carter Cash as a profound artist who was also a deeply devoted and loving companion. She joins in with many classic numbers to underscore a partnership that lasted more than 35 years.
The pairing of Solomon and Aynn is ideal and the chemistry between them is evident, which befits the legend that fans have grown to love. The audience responds enthusiastically as they perform together in such hits as "Time's A Wastin'," "Ring Of Fire," and the Grammy Award-winning duet "Jackson".