King, Mellencamp tap musical elite for new musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County

After taking over soundtracks in 2009, our favorite musicians have not set their eyes on Broadway. After all, how else does one explain the following news: Fresh on the heels of Green Day’s “21 Guns” Broadway rework and Bono’s plans for Spider-Man, TwentyFourBit (via Fire Wire) has reported on plans for a brand new musical by Stephen King and John Mellencamp, titled Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. And get this, it stars the likes of Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, Dave Alvin, Kris Kristofferson, and Neko Case. Mr. King, Mr. Mellencamp, 24 star Glenn Morshower, and Joe Fraiser, as in the boxer named Joe Fraiser, also have roles in the musical.

Mellencamp and King have been collaborating on the project since early 2000. In previous interviews, Mellencamp noted the story “centers on the deaths in 1957 of two brothers and a young girl and the legend that grows out of the tragedy.”

“The father takes them to the family vacation place, a cabin that the boys hadn’t been to since they were kids, he told Billboard in October of 2005.

“What has happened is that the father had two older brothers who hated each other and killed each other in that cabin,” he continued. “There’s a confederacy of ghosts who also live in this house. The older [dead] brothers are there, and they speak to the audience, and they sing to the audience. That’s all I want to say, except through this family vacation, many things are learned about the family, and many interesting songs are sung.”

If that wasn’t enough, the legendary T-Bone Burnett produced the musical’s soundtrack and describes it as “‘down-home,’ with the earthiness and feeling of the acoustic folk-country blues of the 1930s.” You’ll be able to hear it as part of a three-disc package, which will feature the script’s full text, two discs featuring the entire production of the spoken word script and songs performed by the cast, and a third CD of the songs only

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is scheduled to debut next September at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater. Burnett hopes to proceed its debut with the release of the soundtrack. Either way, consider this an early candidate for the most unique project of 2010.


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