The Red Clay Ramblers & The Coastal Cohorts / Dec 9-11, Cat’s Cradle

Carrboro, NC — The Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers and the celebrated Coastal Cohorts of King Mackerel musical renown take the Cat’s Cradle Back Room stage together for three nights celebrating musicians’ theatre, Weds, Thurs, Fri, December 9th-11th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. each evening.
The year 2015 marks several musicians’ theatre anniversaries:  the 40th since the Ramblers joined a troupe including co-authors Jim Wann and Bland Simpson in a triumphant NYC run of Diamond Studs; the 30th since the Ramblers scored and performed in Sam Shepard’s New York hit A Lie of the Mind, while Cohorts Don Dixon, Wann & Simpson premiered King Mackerel here in NC; the 20th since the Ramblers ran their award-winning clown-mime hit Fool Moon the second time On Broadway, and since the Cohorts also put King Mackerel onto the New York boards.  And so on . . .
The Ramblers-Cohorts band will also celebrate their latest collaborative project, Jim Wann’s newest album, Blue Heaven, which all hands joined in recording at Chapel Hill’s Rubber Room earlier this year.
Personnel for the Cat’s Cradle evenings are:  Clay Buckner (fiddle); Don Dixon (bass); Chris Frank (guitar, tuba); Jack Herrick (bass, trumpet); Rob Ladd (drums); Bland Simpson (piano); and Jim Wann (guitar).
Please see also:

Jack Herrick in Midst of Five-show Musical Year for 2014-2015!

Jack Herrick

Jack Herrick

Chapel Hill, NC — The Red Clay Ramblers, North Carolina’s Tony Award-winning string band, proudly announce that Jack Herrick, their bassist and artistic director, is enjoying a banner season in which five of his original musicals are slated for productions across the U.S. and in the U.K. in 2014 and 2015.  These projects are:

Big Apple Circus – opened in Dulles, VA, in September 2014, moved to Lincoln Center in New York City for an October 17th opening and three-month run, with subsequent runs in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Queens.  This year’s show, with Herrick’s scoring, is called “Metamorphosis”; West Hyler is directing;

Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus

A Child’s Christmas in Wales – a reprise of Herrick’s 2006 musical, with a book by director/adaptor Michael Bogdanov, celebrating author Dylan Thomas’s 100th birthday; opened at the Grand Theatre in Swansea, Wales, Nov. 4th, 2014, with a Wales/UK tour to follow;


A Child's Christmas in Wales

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

 Bah! Humbug! ­– Herrick’s perennially popular, award-winning contemporary adaptation of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, running December 13th – 23rd, 2014;

Pericles – the Shakespeare play-with-music, which Herrick successfully staged in Chapel Hill, NC, with UNC/PlayMakers Repertory Company artistic director Joseph Haj in 2008, now to be reprised for an eight-month run at the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Feb. 26th-Nov. 1st, 2015;

Georama – Herrick’s collaboration about 19th century Mississippi River artist John Banvard with author-director West Hyler and Kleban Prize-winning librettist Matt Schatz, is scheduled for a Missouri mainstage production later in 2015;

Also, Jack Herrick and fellow Red Clay Ramblers have recently released (September 1st, 2014) the score to their ballet Carolina Jamboree.  Carolina Jamboree, with choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, has been staged by the Carolina Ballet in 2005, 2008, and 2013; it has been broadcast over public television a number of times.



“The Red Clay Ramblers — a fantasy roadhouse band from a vanished rural America — perfection!”

— The New York Times

Lone Star Love

Lone Star Love

Falstaff_RCR1100Outer Critics Circle Award nomination
“Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical”

TWO Lortel Award nominations!
“Outstanding Musical”
“Outstanding Choreographer”

Kudzu: A Southern Musical

Book, music and lyrics by RCR Jack Herrick, Doug Marlette, and RCR Bland Simpson

with the Red Clay Ramblers

Fords Theatre, Washington, D.C. March 1998

Duke University, North Carolina February 1998

The Norma Terris Theatre, Chester, CT World Premiere: May 15 – June 8, 1997

Reviews and Press Coverage

The idea of Kudzu takes shape
Musical ‘toon” By Susan Kauffman; Staff Writer, Raleigh News & Observer, 1993

Kudzu BandKudzu’s songs of the South” By Charles Salter Jr.; Staff Writer, Raleigh News & Observer. 1996

On Stage
‘Kudzu’ musical is `love letter to the South’” Kimberly H. Byrd The Herald-Sun, 1998

In ‘Kudzu,’ the South Faces Itself” By Rick Bragg The New York Times, 1998

A Child’s Christmas In Wales

Adapted from the Dylan Thomas short story by Michael Bogdanov, with music and lyrics by Jack Herrick, the musical will once again be produced by the Theater Company of Wales as part of a celebration of the Dylan Thomas centennial. The production will originate in Swansea, Thomas’s childhood home, and tour Great Britan during the fall and winter of 2014

Hear the music and get more info here.



Heart-warming, crowd-pleasing entertainment with all the sincerity of a good Christmas pudding.’ – Paddy Cooper & James Ellington –

‘It is a very brave artist who dares to undertake such a task but it is bravery that is a mark of The Wales Theatre Company and its adventurous Artistic Director Michael Bogdanov…A near perfect production…Bogdanov may have opened up a rich seam here and this adaptation could become a regular part of the Christmas entertainment scene as a sort of Peter pan for Wales.’ – Michael Kelligan –

‘There is not a single weak link in this excellent production, which should hopefully find favour not only with Dylan Thomas aficionados but also mainstream theatregoers with a taste for nostalgia.’ –Graham Williams –

‘Bogdanov’s respect for Thomas’ text was evident as he and his cast brought gem after gem to life and blended them seamlessly with vignettes of his own creation.’ –Sarah Manners – Western Mail

Fool Moon

Fool Moon

Tony-winning Broadway show
Red Clay Ramblers
David Shiner – Bill Irwin

Fool MoonThis one-of-a-kind show is a unique comedy featuring two grandmasters of physical lunacy in an evening of sly humor, chaos, and music with The Red Clay Ramblers. Created by Bill Irwin and David Shiner, Fool Moon was awarded a special Tony award in 1999, a Drama Desk Award for “Unique Theatrical Experience,” and an Outer Critics Circle “Special Achievement” Award. The New York Times called the show “sensational;” Time Magazine called Irwin and Shiner “magicians of the human body. They are exquisite.” The show was first performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, in the Serious Fun Festival in July 1992. As “Fool Moon,” it next appeared at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway for an eight-month run in 1993 (winning the Ramblers a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Music in a Play), then went on to set box-office records at the Doolittle Theatre in Los Angeles (’94). It played Vienna and Munich (’94), Broadway again (’95), and, in the fall of 1998, “Fool Moon” ran at ACT in San Francisco and Seattle Rep in Seattle, returned to Broadway Nov. ’98-Jan. ’99, and went to Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center for spring, 1999.  The creators and company of Fool Moon received a Special Tony Award at the Gershwin Theater in New York City, June 1999.