John Mellencamp’s recent characterization of his hugely ambitious “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” musical theater collaboration with Stephen King as “very complicated” has been borne out by media confusion over the nature of the project.
In an effort to clarify, John, King and producer T Bone Burnett are finishing up the recording process for the deluxe three-CD set featuring the full text of the libretto and a recording of the music and script. The CD components involve the entire production—music and dialog—on two discs, with a single disc containing just the songs.
The set is still on track for release prior to the musical’s scheduled opening next September at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater. As has been reported, the production team has assembled a stellar cast to record the songs, including Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Dave and Phil Alvin. The casting of the Atlanta stage presentation is also underway.
Meanwhile, Burnett continues to record the actors who voice the speaking parts for the “Ghost Brothers” recordings.
As John said last month, “It’s hard enough to make a play with music work—even when you can see the actors singing. But here we have something that’s become way out of fashion: An audio program that allows the listener the opportunity to use his or her imagination!”