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Music / Theater PopWrapped | Music

Night At The Theatre: "The Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County" Is A Haunting, Gothic Musical Experience

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


10/11/2013 10:20 pm
PopWrapped | Music
Night At The Theatre:
Media Courtesy of New York Daily News

Kay Ziegler

Staff Writer

A new ghost story has hit the stage just in time for Halloween. In The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, Stephen King and John Mellencamp, along with T-Bone Burnett as musical director, have created a gothic musical play set in the Deep South. Surprisingly, this layered, spellbinding storyline is full of humor and heart. True to King’s master storytelling, there is a major plot twist. With multiple points of view, the audience truly gets to know each of the characters in the story. We also get to see their responses to the horrific events that befell each of them. To deepen the storytelling, King and Mellencamp utilize flashbacks – the story floats between 1967 and 2007 throughout the whole play. The casting for this show was perfect. Each all-star performer truly embodies his or her own character. The performances were believable, thus the audience could sympathize with even the most despicable being. The love, the grief, the lust, and the jealousy gloriously emblazoned the whole musical; the feelings experienced by the beings were palpable. Brilliantly, King and Mellencamp chose to craft a story with very few props. Besides the instruments, there were probably about 10 props used (maybe a little more or little less). With the dialogue, the audience can imagine every event in any way he or she sees fit. To create the sound of gunshots, frogs, or whatnot, ordinary objects were used instead of overlaying the scenes with pre-recorded noises. It was as if the audience was viewing an ole timey radio show being produced. It was truly rejuvenating to watch! While this show is not horrific (meaning that it isn’t scary), it is not something to take young children to. There is a lot of well-used profanity. The storytelling is also graphic; the characters narrate what happened to each other and do not leave out details. Even if you aren’t fond of ghost stories or even Stephen King’s works, the musical is worth viewing. Jake LaBotz as The Shape is hilarious as he punctuates the story with lewd, witty jokes. The way he saunters across the stage is mesmerizing. Seeing Bruce Greenwood (who played Christopher Pike) on stage was a real treat. He truly has a brilliant presence and, man can he sing! If you are interested in seeing the show live, there are still many chances to go see the show. It will be touring across the US from now until November 6th. For a full list of venues, please visit here. There is a second showing at IU auditorium in Bloomington, IN on October 23rd that is not listed on their website; for ticket information, you can visit the theatre’s website.


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