Christopher Ryan Grant, Van Hughes, Patti Murin, More Will Sing The Ballad of Johnny and June | Playbill

Regional News Christopher Ryan Grant, Van Hughes, Patti Murin, More Will Sing The Ballad of Johnny and June

Des McAnuff will direct the world premiere of the new musical at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Christopher Ryan Grant, Van Hughes, and Patti Murin

Casting has been announced for the La Jolla Playhouse world premiere of the new musical The Ballad of Johnny and June, which will play the Mandell Weiss Theatre May 28–July 7.

Directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff, the cast will feature Christopher Ryan Grant (Million Dollar Quartet) as Johnny Cash, Van Hughes (American Idiot) as John Carter Cash, and Patti Murin (Frozen) as June Carter Cash, along with Maddie Shea Baldwin as Anita, Paula Leggett Chase as Carrie, Drew Wildman Foster as Carl Smith/Jack Cash/Marshall Grant, Gabriella Joy as Vivian, Bart Shatto as Ray Cash/Sam Phillips/W.S. Holland, and Correy West as Luther Perkins/Rip Nix. Understudies include Summer Broyhill, Michael Louis Cusimano, Cody Ingram, and Baily Day Sonner.

The Ballad of Johnny and June features a book by Robert Cary (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) and music and lyrics by Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and others.

Created with the support of the Cash family and told through the eyes of Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash, The Ballad of Johnny and June covers it all: the country music stars' childhoods, their 1956 meeting at the Grand Ole Opry, the onstage proposal in 1968, and the highs and lows of fame, life on the road, addiction, arrests, controversies, marriage, family and devotion. 

The upcoming production will also have music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Ron Melrose, music direction by Lisa LeMay, choreography by Byron Easley, scenic design by Robert Brill, costume design by Sarafina Bush, lighting design by Amanda Zieve, sound design by Peter Fitzgerald, media design by Sean Nieuwenhuis, wig design by Alberto “Albee” Alvarado, and casting by Tara Rubin Casting's Spencer Gualdoni and Jacole Kitchen.

The stage manager is Dean Remington, and the assistant stage managers are Vanessa Dodgson-Thomas and Marie Jahelka.

“It’s always a delight to welcome Des back to the Playhouse—this time with this scintillating new bio-musical to launch our 2024–2025 season,” said La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley in a statement. “Des is a master at bringing the lives of music icons to vivid life on stage, as evidenced by his productions of Jersey Boys, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, among others, and he has assembled a dynamo cast and creative team to conjure and celebrate country music legends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.”


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