More than a decade since the project was first announced, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” makes its long-awaited premiere Wednesday evening at the .
The anticipated new musical was written by novelist Stephen King, features music and lyrics by John Mellencamp, and has musical direction provided by legendary producer T Bone Burnett. The closing show of the Alliance Stage Series season is directed by Alliance Artistic Director Susan V. Booth.
It features Tony Award winner and Atlanta native Shuler Hensley and Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner, and also includes Justin Guarini of “American Idol” fame. Hensley is an alum of .
Described as “a riveting Southern gothic musical fraught with mystery, tragedy, and phantoms of the past, along with a roots and blues-tinged score,” here’s the official production synopsis:
In the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi in 1967, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next forty years, the events of that night became the stuff of local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him – or tear the McCandless family apart forever.
In a press conference late last year, King explained why the musical is debuting in Atlanta: “We wanted a place that was cosmopolitan but not out of touch with country roots. Atlanta seemed like the middle of the bulls-eye. You know that song, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere?’ That’s how I feel about Atlanta and this show.”
Mellencamp’s three-CD studio album of the production and its music will be released next month. Tonight's preview is considered a "soft opening" with the official Opening Night set for April 11. The production runs through May 13 and see here for ticket information.
“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” is finally here, are you going?