Playbill.com: Tour Of Stephen King-John Mellencamp Musical Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County
10.10.2013 - Tour of Stephen King-John Mellencamp Musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland
County, With Emily Skinner and Bruce Greenwood, Launches Oct. 10
By Adam Hetrick -
Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner and Bruce Greenwood star in the theatrical
concert version of the Stephen King-John Mellencamp musical Ghost Brothers of
Darkland County, which launches a tour Oct. 10 in Bloomington, IN.
The limited tour, which plays cities in the Midwest and Southeast, is staged
by Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth, who also helmed the 2012 Atlanta
premiere of Ghost Brothers. The Gothic southern musical about a decades-old
tragedy that haunts the population of a small town has a blues-tinged score by
Mellencamp and a book by "Carrie," "Misery" and "The Shining" novelist King.
Skinner (Side Show, Billy Elliot), who was part of the Alliance premiere,
plays Monique McCandless opposite Greenwood ("Thirteen Days," "Flight"
"Startrek") as Joe McCandless.
Also featured are Lucas Kavner and Joe Tippett as brothers Frank and Drake
McCandless, respectively, with Kylie Brown as Anna, Peter Albrink as Jack
McCandless, Travis Smith as Andy McCandless, Eric Moore as Dan Coker, Kate
Ferber as Jenna Farrell, Jake LaBotz as The Shape, Joe Jung as Newt Hoggenbeck,
Zac Ballard as Young Joe, Jesse Lenat as The Zydeco Cowboy, and Rob Lawhon and
Gwen Hughes in the ensemble.
The band includes Andy York, Dane Clark, Jon Gunnell and Troye Kinnett.
Ghost Brothers has lighting by Steven Cohen and choreography by Liza Genaro.
The concert-style presentation, according to a representative for Ghost
Brothers, has been completely reconceived since the Atlanta premiere. The
staging is suggestive, with lighting and sparse scenic elements, and there is
not typical theatrical blocking or costumes. It has musical direction by T Bone
According to presenters, "The macabre story will feature a chorus of actors
and singers, and musicians featuring members of Mellencampís band. The staging
of Ghost Brothers will be an amalgam of different styles Ė both old fashioned,
resembling in many ways an old-style radio show, and yet, modern and unique in
its interactive use of actors, singers and musicians in order to move the Ghost
Brothers story forward incorporating a mix of storytelling, music and singing."
Booth characterizes the new incarnation as "a kind of new age travelling
medicine show. This is a gothic story-driven rock concert. 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."
Here's how it's billed: "Set in the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve,
Mississippi, the Ghost Brothers' story centers on two sets of brothers: the
ghosts of Jack and Andy, dead in an apparent murder/suicide, and their nephews,
the living Frank and Drake, who seem to be headed toward the same downward
spiral as their uncles. Joe, younger brother of Jack and Andy, father of Frank
and Drake, has decided it's time to reveal his own terrible secret at the site
of the tragedy, before itís too late."
A studio album of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, recorded in 2010, was
released June 4 from Hear Records.
The album features performances by Kris Kristofferson in the role of the
father, Joe; Elvis Costello as the satanic character The Shape; Roseanne Cash as
the mother, Monique; and the sons portrayed by Will Daily (Frank), Dave Alvin
(Jack), Phil Alvin (Andy) and Mellencamp (Drake). Sheryl Crow voices Jenna with
Neko Case as Anna, boxing legend Joe Frazier as caretaker Dan Coker and novelist
King in the role of Uncle Steve. Also featured on the album are actors Matthew
McConaughey, Samantha Mathis and Meg Ryan. Glenn Morshower serves as the
Tour itinerary for the concert production follows:
Oct. 10 Bloomington, IN (Indiana University Auditorium)
Oct. 11 Louisville, KY (Whitney Hall)
Oct. 12 Knoxville, KY (Knoxville Civic Auditorium)
Oct. 13 Asheville, NC (Thomas Wolfe Auditorium)
Oct. 16 Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium)
Oct. 17 Evansville, IN (Aiken Theatre at The Centre)
Oct. 18 Indianapolis, IN (Clowes Memorial Hall)
Oct. 19 Akron, OH (Akron Civic Theatre)
Oct. 22 Columbus, OH (Palace Theatre)
Oct. 23 Bloomington, IN (Indiana University Auditorium)
Oct. 24 Ft. Wayne, IN (Embassy Theatre)
Oct. 25 Madison, WI (Overture Hall)
Oct. 26 Rockford, IL (Coronado Performing Arts Center)
Oct. 29 Milwaukee, WI (Riverside Theatre)
Oct. 31 Minneapolis, MN (State Theatre)
Nov. 1 Sioux City, IA (Orpheum Theatre)
Nov. 2 Ames, IA (Stephens Auditorium)
Nov. 3 Davenport, IA (Adler Theatre)
Nov. 5 South Bend, IN (Morris Performing Arts Center)
Nov. 6 Grand Rapids, MI (DeVos Performance Hall)