John Mellencamp partnered with Stephen King to create a new musical. The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County tour will launch in Bloomington, Indiana, on Thursday.
The show is being described as a theatrical concert, which includes actors, singers, and a live band. The performance is reminiscent of an “old-style radio show,” with a modern and interactive twist.
Musical director T Bone Burnett said the format is similar to a “new age traveling medicine show.” He describes the unique arrangement:
“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.”
As reported by Play Bill, the cast includes Emily Skinner, Bruce Greenwood, Joe Jung, Zac Ballard, and Lucas Kavner.
The band features numerous well-known musicians, including Dance Clark, Jon Gunnell, Troye Kinnett, and members of John Mellencamp’s band.
The show is a collaboration including Mellencamp’s music, Liza Genaro’s choreography, and Stephen King’s storytelling.
The musical is set in Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi. The main characters are two sets of brothers. Andy and Jack are ghosts, while Drake and Frank are their living nephews. As the story unfolds, it is clear that Andy and Jack met a tragic end. Unfortunately Drake and Frank are heading toward a similar fate.
In the true style of Stephen King, the story involves, mystery, intrigue, a “terrible secret,” and a touch of the supernatural.
The tour includes 20 performances, beginning in Indiana and concluding in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on November 6.
In addition to the theatrical concert, Mellencamp also announced the debut of his art exhibition. As reported by USA Today, the exhibition will be featured in a different location each year.
The Paintings of John Mellencamp will debut on November 3 at the Butler Institute of American Art’s museum in Howland Township, Ohio.