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October 31, 2014

‘Ghost Brothers’ musical from King, Mellencamp, Burnett to play Mpls. on Halloween

A Southern Gothic stage musical from the minds of writer Stephen King, rocker John Mellencamp and producer T Bone Burnett is heading north for Halloween.

The Hennepin Theatre District has announced that “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” will be playing the State Theatre in Minneapolis on Oct. 31.

Set in Lake Belle Reve, Miss., “Ghost Brothers” tells the story of the ghosts of brothers Jack and Andy, dead from suicide, and their living nephews, Frank and Drake. The latter two appear to be heading down the same dark path as their uncles unless terrible secrets can be revealed before tragedy repeats itself.

The libretto for “Ghost Brothers was written by King, while Mellencamp wrote the music and lyrics and Burnett served as musical director.

The idea for “Ghost Brothers” came from Mellencamp, who told King about a cabin on his land in Indiana where two brothers had purportedly gotten in a fight over a girl, ending up with one brother accidentally killing the other. The tragedy was then compounded when the surviving brother died with the girl in a car crash a short time later.

The “Ghost Brothers” production includes 15 actors and a four-piece live band. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday.

An album with songs from the production — featuring performances by Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Bingham and others  — will be released June 4.

The album, which is staged like a radio play, also features the voices of actors including Matthew McConaughey and Meg Ryan.

See a featurette about the making of “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” below.