AEG Live is pleased to announce the touring cast for the southern gothic, supernatural musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, libretto by Stephen King, with music and lyrics by John Mellencamp and musical direction by T Bone Burnett. The show will be appearing in 19 cities throughout the Midwest and Southeast beginning October 10 in Bloomington, IN, and ending November 6 in Grand Rapids, MI. Tickets are on sale now at aeglive.com.
This extraordinary collaboration, 13 years in the making, is a haunting tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge, which will be performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band. The macabre story will feature a chorus of actors and singers, and musicians featuring members of Mellencamp’s band. The staging of Ghost Brothers will be an amalgam of different styles – 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.
The show stars actor Bruce Greenwood as the father Joe McCandless. Greenwood, is perhaps best known for his roles as JFK in the film Thirteen Days, Flight and Captain Christopher Pike in the 2009 Star Trek film and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. Also starring is Emily Skinner as Joe’s wife, Monique. Skinner is a well-known stage actress who received a Tony Award nomination for Side Show, and has had leading roles on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde, James Joyce’s The Dead, The Full Monty and Billy Elliot.
Hello Dolly and Hair.
The two dead brothers, Jack and Andy McCandless, are played by Peter Albrink and Travis Smith respectively. Albrink starred in the Long Wharf’s version of Sam Shepherd’s Curse of the Starving Class earlier in the year, while Smith, recently played John Carter Cash in the USA Network’s Johnny Cash biopic Ring of Fire, and appears in that network’s series, Necessary Roughness. This ensemble’s female love interest, Jenna, is played by Kate Ferber, whose recent credits include the one-woman show One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro.
The Shape, a devil-like character, is played by Jake LaBotz, who is a blues singer-songwriter and has acted in films by Sylvester Stallone and Steve Buscemi. LaBotz has released six of his own albums. The remaining cast members are: Eric Moore, Joe Jung, Rob Lawhon, Gwen Hughes, Jesse Lenat and Zac Ballard. The band on stage features bandleader Andy York on guitar, percussionist Dane Clark, Troye Kinnett on Keyboards and harmonica and upright bassist Jon Gunnell.
The show will be expertly lit by the award-winning Lighting Designer Steven Cohen, who in his 40-plus year career in the music and television industry has worked with the world’s most prominent artists, including: John Mellencamp, Billy Joel ,Elton John, Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Tim McGraw, Lenny Kravitz, Blake Shelton, Justin Timberlake, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, The Eagles, to name a few, and has worked on numerous TV productions for HBO, Showtime, MTV and VH1.
The director of Ghost Brothers is Susan V. Booth, who is currently the artistic director at the Alliance Theatre and directed the play during its Atlanta run in 2012. She has worked at theatres all over the country including La Jolla Playhouse, New York Stage and Film Actors Theatre of Louisville, Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Court Theatre and many others. The casting director is Laura Stanczyk and the choreographer is Liza Genaro.
“This piece has been on a really long journey,” says Booth. “One of the things it has learned about itself is that it could never fit into existing molds. King, Mellencamp and Burnett don’t fit into existing molds either. So, for the stage production, we had to create a completely new form.”
The play follows the release of the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County album (Concord Records), which came out earlier in the year. The record, produced by musical director Burnett, reflects the wide range of styles and influences required for a work that jumps back and forth across decades. It features original music and lyrics by Mellencamp, along with a stellar cast of guest musicians and actors.
Full tour cast is listed below:
Bruce Greenwood – Joe McCandless
Emily Skinner – Monique McCandless
Joe Tippett – Drake McCandless
Lucas Kavner – Frank McCandless
Kylie Brown – Anna Wicklow
Eric Moore – Dan Coker
Travis Smith – Andy McCandless
Peter Albrink – Jack McCandless
Kate Ferber – Jenna Farrell
Joe Jung – Newt Hoggenbeck/Ensemble
Rob Lawhon – Ensemble
Gwen Hughes – Ensemble
Jake LaBotz – The Shape
Jesse Lenat – The Zydeco Cowboy/Ensemble
Zac Ballard – Young Joe
Andy York – Music Supervision and Arrangements, Band Leader, Guitarist
Dane Clark – Percussion
Jon Gunnell – Upright Bass
Troye Kinnett – Keyboards and Harmonica
Full tour dates are below:
10 – Bloomington, IN – Indiana University Auditorium
11 – Louisville, KY – The Kentucky Center for Performing Arts
12 – Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Civic Auditorium
13 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
16 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
17 – Evansville, IN – Aiken Theatre at The Centre
18 – Indianapolis, IN – Clowes Memorial Hall
19 – Akron, OH – Akron Civic Theatre
22 – Columbus, OH – Palace Theatre
23 – Bloomington, IN – Indiana University Auditorium
24 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Embassy Theatre
25 – Madison, WI – Overture Hall
26 – Rockford, IL – Coronado Performing Arts Center
29 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theatre
31 – Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre
1 – Sioux City, IA – Orpheum Theatre
2 – Ames, IA – Stephens Auditorium
3 – Davenport, IA – Adler Theatre
5 – South Bend, IN – Morris Performing Arts Center
6 – Grand Rapids, MI – DeVos Performance Hall
To purchase tickets for the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County tour, go to:
To purchase the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County album, go to:
Amazon Hardcover Edition: http://smarturl.it/gbodcHC
Amazon Deluxe Version: http://smarturl.it/GBODCdeluxe
Listen to Ghost Brothers music and view the trailer at: www.ghostbrothersofdarklandcounty.com