Robert Hilburn to discuss Johnny Cash at Laguna Playhouse

Robert Hilburn to discuss Johnny Cash at Laguna Playhouse
Cover art for the book "Johnny Cash: The Life," by Robert Hilburn. (Little, Brown and Company)

Fans of Johnny Cash -- and the jukebox musical based on his life -- will get a chance to hear from an expert who knew the late singer well and spent decades researching his career.

Former Los Angeles Times pop-music critic and editor Robert Hilburn will discuss the life of Cash before performances of the upcoming musical "Ring of Fire" at The Laguna Playhouse on Jan. 18. Hilburn will speak at 1 p.m., prior to the 2 p.m. matinee performance, and at 6:30 p.m., prior to the 7:30 p.m. evening performance.


Hilburn recently published "Johnny Cash: The Life," a 600-plus-page biography that encompasses the singer's tumultuous career. The book, which was released in December, was the result of Hilburn's close journalistic relationship with Cash -- the critic was present during Cash's Folsom Prison performance in 1968 -- and years of research.

Hilburn is expected speak about his book, answer questions and sign books. The events are free with the purchase of a ticket to "Ring of Fire."

The stage production, which bombed on Broadway in 2006, is a jukebox musical that tells Cash's life through songs. The revised musical has since become a modest success among regional theaters. The Laguna production is scheduled to start performances on Tuesday and will run through Feb. 2.