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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Cash musical heading to Broadway
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash died in 2003 at the age of 71
A musical featuring the songs of the late singer Johnny Cash is heading to the Broadway stage next year.

More than 35 of the country star's songs will performed in Ring of Fire, although no actor will actually portray Johnny Cash.

The show, directed by Tony winner Richard Maltby, has received favourable reviews during its short preview run in Buffalo, New York.

Cash, whose was known as The Man in Black, died in 2003 at the age of 71.

He is also the subject of a forthcoming film called Walk the Line, with Joaquin Phoenix playing Cash.

The Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show follows the tradition of "jukebox musicals" such as Mamma Mia and the Rat Pack.

The recent John Lennon musical closed after just six weeks following dire reviews.

Not cliched

Early reviews of the Johnny Cash musical have proved to be more positive.

"There's no cliched stage biography here, nor is there an artificially constructed story trying to string it all together," wrote the Toronto Star.

Director Maltby said Cash had given his approval for the musical before his death, having previously rejected several projects.

Explaining why no-one had been cast as Cash, Maltby said: "The persona, the voice, are unduplicatable, and the very best we could achieve would be a poor imitation."

Maltby won a Tony award for creating and directing the Fats Waller musical Ain't Misbehavin'.

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