Aside from being Mellencamp’s stomping grounds, Indiana was also part of the inspiration for the play featuring King’s story combined with blues ‘n’ roots music. The work has its roots in a tale Mellencamp once told King about a cabin in Indiana where two brothers duked it out over a woman, resulting in one sibling accidently killing the other. The remaining brother and the girl later die in a car crash.
That was enough for King to provide an outline and Mellencamp and Burnett to begin working on the music. The final result is a tale centering on the ghosts of brothers Jack and Andy who died in an apparent murder-suicide, and their very much alive nephews Frank and Drake along with their uncle Joe, the younger brother of the two spirits.
“John can make rock’ n’ roll records and I can write books for the rest of our lives,” King said, “but that’s the safe way to do it, and that’s no way to live if you want to stay creative. We were willing to be educated, and at our age, that’s an accomplishment.”
Presented by AEG Live, the play featuring 15 actors and a four-piece live band is now ready for your approval, beginning in Bloomington, Ind., in mid-October.
Here’s the routing:
Oct. 10 – Bloomington, Ind., Indiana University Auditorium
Oct. 11 – Louisville, Ky., Whitney Hall
Oct. 12 – Knoxville, Tenn., Knoxville Auditorium
Oct. 13 – Asheville, N.C., Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Oct. 16 – Nashville, Tenn., Ryman Auditorium
Oct. 17 – Evansville, Ind., The Centre – Aiken Theatre
Oct. 18 – Indianapolis, Ind., Clowes Memorial Hall
Oct. 19 – Akron, Ohio, Akron Civic Theatre
Oct. 22 – Columbus, Ohio, Palace Theatre
Oct. 24 – Fort Wayne, Ind., Embassy Theatre
Oct. 25 – Madison, Wis., Overture Hall
Oct. 26 – Rockford, Ill., Coronado Performing Arts Center
Oct. 27 – Appleton, Wis., Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
Oct. 29 – Milwaukee, Wis., Riverside Theatre
Oct. 31 – Minneapolis, Minn., The State Theatre
Nov. 1 – Sioux City, Iowa, Orpheum Theatre
Nov. 2 – Ames, Iowa, Stephens Auditorium
Nov. 3 – Davenport, Iowa, RiverCenter / Adler Theatre
Nov. 5 – South Bend, Ind., Morris Performing Arts Center
“This is a gothic story-driven rock concert,” director Susan Booth said. “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.”
Tickets for most shows go on sale May 17, Asheville goes on sale May 18; Louisville May 31. Visit GhostBrothersOfDarklandCounty.com for more information.