Sandhills Repertory Theatre welcomes back, by popular demand, Scott Moreau in “Late and Alone: An Intimate Portrait of Johnny Cash,” Feb. 15-16, at the newly renovated Owens Auditorium, Bradshaw Performing Arts Center at Sandhills Community College. Using anecdotes from Cash’s autobiography, multiple interviews, live concerts and documentaries, Moreau tells Cash’s story with the artist’s own words and songs. Featuring more than 20 songs from “The Man in Black”’s 40-plus years in the music business, he creates a stripped-down look into the life of an American icon.
Moreau is from Litchfield, Maine, and now lives in New York City. He holds a BFA in music theater from Illinois Wesleyan University, and has been performing professionally for 20 years. For the last 10 years, he has been performing predominantly as Johnny Cash, portraying him on the first national Broadway tour of “Million Dollar Quartet,” and has since performed the role more than 1,000 times: at the Regional Premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse, at the Tony Award-winning Paper Mill Playhouse, Maine State Music Theatre, Fulton Theatre and Riverside Theatre, among many others.
Moreau has presented his original Johnny Cash tribute shows across the country and Canada for the last 10 years, playing to sold-out houses in Michigan, North Carolina, the Phoenix Valley, Quebec City, Celine Dion’s Le Mirage in Montreal, and the M Casino in Las Vegas. In 2013, he recorded a tribute to Cash, “Home of the Blues,” at Sun Studio, in Memphis — the very same studio that gave Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two their start.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, as he faced declining record sales, Cash retreated to his cabin recording studio across from his house in Hendersonville, Tenn. He recorded hours of songs he had always wanted to record, and even explained why these songs meant so much to him. He had intended for the album to eventually be released as “Late and Alone with Johnny Cash.” The project was scrapped, and in 1986 he was unceremoniously dropped by Columbia Records after nearly 40 years.
A disappointing stint with Mercury Records left him searching for a record label. Rick Rubin and his American Recordings label jumped on the chance to work with him. His first album with this new company, American Recordings, was recorded with two microphones in Rick Rubin’s Los Angeles living room. Cash remarked that the process reminded him of his “Late and Alone” project. When Cash died in 2003, these tapes were discovered and released in their entirety as “Personal File,” now renamed “Bootleg Vol. 1.” Moreau used these recordings, countless interviews, live concerts and excerpts from the autobiography “Cash” to construct his solo tribute, “Late and Alone: An Intimate Portrait Of Johnny Cash.”
For tickets, go to www.sandhillsrep.org. Tickets are also available at Given Library, in Pinehurst; and Nature’s Own, in Southern Pines.