2024/25 Season

The Ballad of Johnny and June

World-Premiere Musical

The Ballad of Johnny and June

MAY 28 – JUL 7, 2024 | Mandell Weiss Theatre

Book by Robert Cary and Des McAnuff

Music and Lyrics by Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and others

Directed by Des McAnuff

Love is a burning thing

Country music royalty Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash remain to this day one of the most famous couples of the 20th Century. Created with the support of the family and told through the eyes of their son John Carter Cash, this new musical covers it all: their childhoods, their 1956 meeting at the Grand Ole Opry, the storied on-stage proposal in 1968, and the soaring highs and whiplash lows of fame, life on the road, addiction, arrests, controversies, marriage, family and devotion.

This is a whole-hearted and clear-eyed telling of one of the most iconic love stories in music history, complete with a soundtrack of beloved hits — I Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, Hey Porter, Jackson, I’ve Been Everywhere and many more.

Tony Award winner Des McAnuff has exhilarated audiences exploring the tumultuous journeys of legendary musicians in shows like Jersey Boys, The Who’s Tommy, and SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical. In his long-awaited return to the Playhouse, this world premiere musical is sure to be another smash hit.

“You can go deeper and deeper and you still might never get to the bottom of what makes two people love each other, or stay together. Or come apart.” John Carter Cash, Johnny and June


Remember your experience at this extraordinary new musical with a limited edition souvenir ticket, featuring printed autographs of the creators Des McAnuff (director and co-writer), Robert Cary (co-writer), and cast members Christopher Ryan Grant (Johnny Cash), Patti Murin (June Carter Cash) and Van Hughes (John Carter Cash). From $15. Find out more.

Discover More

» Read the program online

Watch a chat about the shows
Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Artistic Producing Director Eric Keen-Louie talk about each show and why they are excited to share them with Playhouse audiences.

Ticket Information

La Jolla Playhouse is the only authorized ticket seller for this production.

First Look (previews): May 28 – June 2
Weeks 2 – 6: June 4 – July 7

*‘First Look’ performances are the first week of the run of each show prior to opening night (with some exceptions). First Look tickets are lower price and offer the opportunity to experience the show while the creative team are still polishing and making changes. This is a vital element of a show’s evolution, allowing the creative team to step back and see the show through the eyes and experience of the audience. Playhouse staff speak to the audience briefly before the show starts, and the creative team may be seated near you taking notes.

Stage-front bench seats for $55!
The stage-front benches are right up close to the stage, in front of the first row of theatre seats. These seats are wooden benches with no back, so may not be comfortable for everyone. Perfect for Cash and Carter superfans who want to be tantalizingly close to the action. Limited number available per show.

Content Advisory
This production includes themes of drug and alcohol abuse, a rifle seen on stage but not fired, and some strong language. We understand sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects, please get in touch with our Patron Services team at [email protected] or (858) 550-1010 and we’ll be happy to give you more info.

Ticket discounts
The Playhouse offers a range of ways to save on tickets, including Military, Student and Rush discounts, and $29 tickets in Area 3. Discounts are subject to availability and conditions may apply. Read more here or call Patron Services at (858) 550-1010 for more info.

Audience Engagement Events

Enhance your Playhouse experience by attending these free events. Simply book your performance for one of the following dates.

Talkback Tuesday
Participate in a lively discussion with performers and Playhouse staff members immediately following the performance.
Tue, Jun 4 and 11 after the 7:30pm show

Discovery Sunday
Hear from guest speakers in a moderated discussion exploring the themes of the show.
Sun, Jun 23 after the 1pm show

Access Performances

ACCESS Performance (ASL interpretation): Sat, Jun 15, 2pm

The Playhouse caters for a wide range of access and special requirements. Access performances offer American Sign Language interpretation for patrons who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing, captioning for patrons to access on individual devices, and a relaxed welcoming environment for patrons with sensory sensitivities. Audio Description for patrons who are blind or have low vision can be requested in advance. Please call (858) 550-1010 or email [email protected] and we will work with you to address your access needs. Find more info about access here.

Sensory Friendly Guide
Read the Sensory Friendly Guide for the Weiss Theatre here

Useful Information

Approximately 2 hours and 15 mins, including a 15-min intermission

Parking is FREE for La Jolla Playhouse patrons in the South Parking Structure when a valid parking pass is displayed. Take advantage of the free shuttle to the theatre. Find all parking information here.

Covid-19 Policy
La Jolla Playhouse no longer requires patrons to wear masks indoors while attending our theatres. However, we recommend indoor masking while at La Jolla Playhouse. For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 safety procedures, please visit our Covid Safety Page.

Onsite Dining
La Jolla Playhouse’s on-site restaurant, James’ Place, is open for dinner service at 5pm nightly (Tue – Sun). Please note, James’ Place is not open prior to matinee performances. James’ Place offers full bar service and a selection of specialty sushi, Asian fusion, steak & coastal cuisine items. Reserve your table on OpenTable or by phone on (858) 638-7778. Indoor and outdoor seating available.

Click here to view the menu

Concessions opens 60 mins before showtime. Come early to relax outside and enjoy a selection of beer, wine, cocktails, sodas and individually wrapped snacks. All food must be consumed before entering the theatre while concession drinks with lids will be allowed in the theatre.

Production Sponsors

Patti Murin as “June Carter Cash” and Christopher Ryan Grant as “Johnny Cash” in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere production of THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY AND JUNE; photo by Rich Soublet II.

Venue Info

Mandell Weiss Theatre

The Mandell Weiss Theatre is a 492-seat proscenium arch theatre, with two front rows of removable seats allowing for a greater stage length. The theatre also maintains an upstairs wooden deck for parties, receptions and outdoor gatherings, and a small outdoor amphitheatre for pre-show entertainment.

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