NEPA Scene Staff

The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash returns to Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Jan. 27

The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash returns to Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Jan. 27
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From a press release:

It was announced today that The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash will return to the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets, which start at $20, $25, and $35, plus fees, go on sale this Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the Kirby Center box office (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at, and by phone at 570-826-1100. A Kirby Member pre-sale begins on Monday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m.

A former carpenter, Shawn Barker started his musical career as an Elvis Presley tribute artist. Although he drew success through his Elvis act, he soon realized that. in a market saturated with Elvis acts, he could only go so far.

Auditioning for the part of Elvis in a Hollywood production of “The Million Dollar Quartet” (the famed Sun Records recording artists Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis), the director asked Barker to also send video of him portraying the other characters in the script. He did and was instantly cast as Johnny Cash. This started a one-year character study of Johnny Cash: his life, music, voice, and stage presence. Barker ended up turning down the role because of scheduling conflicts.

So impressed by his performance, the producer then created and scripted a show for Barker called “The Man in Black Show,” which is now drawing great success throughout North America, with shows performed and booked in numerous venues.

Barker’s portrayal offers the high energy and classic look of the late Johnny Cash. Although he portrays the younger Johnny Cash, his repertoire covers the singer’s entire career, including duets Cash performed with the late June Carter.

Barker plays guitar and harmonica and has toured Australia, Europe, and North America in “The Man in Black Show” since 2005, as well as making special appearances in multi-act tributes. He also had the opportunity to perform with W.S. “Fluke” Holland, Johnny Cash’s drummer of 40 years. From 2009 through 2016, show has drawn great success throughout the province of Quebec, wowing more than 350,000 audience members while touring and performing residences in Quebec City, Montreal, and Saint-Sauveur.