Johnny Cash Shows Set for Surflight Over Presidents Day Weekend

Feb 13, 2018

Johnny Cash will be appearing at Beach Haven’s Surflight Theatre this coming Saturday and Sunday. Well, it will be about as close to the Man in Black as you can get.

Surflight’s decision to produce “Million Dollar Quartet” last September is still paying dividends. “MDQ” musically told the story of a famous episode that took place on the night of Dec. 4, 1956, when four of the greatest stars of the early rock ’n’ roll era – the voice of rockabilly Carl Perkins; a very young Jerry Lee Lewis; Johnny Cash, then known in country circles but not yet a genre-crossing superstar; and the “King” himself, Elvis Presley – met in Sam Phillips’ Sun Record Studios in Memphis and proceeded to jam their butts off. The show played to big and excited houses at Surflight.

So on New Year’s Eve, Surflight Producing Artistic Director Steve Steiner brought back Todd Meredith, who played Perkins in “Million Dollar Quartet.” Meredith assumed the persona of Buddy Holly, as he previously had in some 20 separate productions of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” including one during Steiner’s previous incarnation at Surflight and in two national tours. He was joined by his band, the Rave-Ons (Bill Morey on upright bass, Matt Watson on drums and Jeremy Renner on guitar, all vets of a “Buddy” national tour), for a Holly tribute concert, one that proved so popular with Surflight/Buddy fans that it sold out, resulting in a second show being added.

Well, another holiday weekend is approaching, Presidents Day, or, as it’s informally known in Beach Haven, Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Co. Turkey Dinner Weekend. So Steiner decided to draw more water from the “Million Dollar Quartet” well, booking a concert featuring Stephen E. Horst as Johnny Cash.

Horst played JC in “MDQ” at Surflight and across the country. He’ll be performing Cash’s legendary Live at Folsom Prison show, featuring songs such as “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and “Give My Love to Rose.”

Cha-ching! The original show, set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, sold out quickly, so a second performance, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, has been added.

Tickets are $29.50 and may be purchased online at surflight.org, by phone at 609-492-9477 or at the door. But if you choose that last option, be warned that tickets for the second show are also being snapped up, meaning that if you wait, you may be playing with fire, a whole ring of it.

By the way, Cash would have been 86 on Feb. 26, another reason Surflight is billing the show as a “Birthday Weekend Tribute.” —R.M.

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