Ghost Brothers of Darkland County musical set for Boston

, Staff

“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”, the new southern gothic, supernatural musical, will make its Boston debut this fall. Written by best-selling author Stephen King with music by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp and musical direction by Grammy Award-winning T-Bone Burnett, the musical will stop in Boston for one-night only. The performance will take place at the Colonial Theatre on Friday, November 21. Tickets for the performance, which range in price from $39.50 to $85, will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

The musical, according to a press release, is a “haunting tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge” performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band, comprised of members of Mellencamp’s band. The cast for the touring production has not yet been announced.

As for the storyline, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” is described as follows:
Joe McCandless saw his two older brothers battle over a girl which ended in the unfortunate deaths of all three. Now with Joe as an adult and two boys of his own, he’s watching an all too familiar scenario play out before his eyes. As the story continues, a malevolent Shape circles the stage, singing about heaven and hell. Joe McCandless lingers in the dream-land café, remembering the  events of his life, and is urged to action by the friendly bartender. In 2007, he goes to his family cabin in Darkland County, Mississippi, where his brothers died in 1967, to tell his own sons Frank and Drake his tale of brotherly love gone sour. With his sons at each other’s throats, Joe’s story will either save or destroy the McCandless family. Will Joe bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own sons? Find out whether the ghosts left behind will help him—or tear the McCandless family apart forever.

Acclaimed director Susan Booth, the Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, who calls the musical “a kind of new age traveling medicine show,” explained in a press release, “I want the emphasis to be on this fantastic score and our great singers and how the story advances us from song to song. In most musicals the songs advance the narrative. With Ghost Brothers, the story will advance the songs.”

After debuting at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2012, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” went on tour last year for a series of performances in the Midwest and South. Mellancamp and King had been discussing and working on the project since 2000, when the heartland rocker approached the famed horror author about a musical inspired by actual events his home state of Indiana. Eventually, they enlisted Burnett to lead the recording process for a studio recording, which preceded the live production. The album featured an all-star cast led by Elvis Costello, as well as Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal, Ryan Bingham, Clyde Mulroney and Boston’s own Will Daily. The dialog cast is also impressive with Hollywood stars Matthew McConaughey and Meg Ryan highlighting the cast.

The upcoming tour will kick off in King’s home state of Maine with a pair of performances at the Collins Center For The Arts in Orono on November 8 and 9. A third Maine performance is scheduled for November 22 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” will also stop in Rhode Island for a performance at the Vets Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, November 22.

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