Carlene Carter is set to take the stage as part of the touring company of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the southern gothic, supernatural musical that is playing venues across North America this month and next.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County was written by author Stephen King, with music by John Mellencamp, and musical direction by T Bone Burnett. It stars actor/writer/producer Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga) and actress/writer/singer Gina Gershon (Killer Joe, House of Versace, Boeing, Boeing) playing the lead roles of Joe McCandless and Monique McCandless.
Carter, who has most recently been touring in support of her critically acclaimed Carter Girl album released by Rounder Records earlier this year, plays “Angie,” a character she describes as “a guardian angel of sorts and bartender of the Dreamland Café, a/k/a purgatory.” In a conversation from Orono, Maine where the production is currently in intensive rehearsals, she noted, “My character’s job is to get Joe McCandelss, played by the wonderful Billy Burke to ‘move on.’” She’ll also be lending vocal support to various cast members over the course of the Ghost Brothers performances that launch this weekend in Orono and go on to dates in Toronto, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco plus twelve other markets (see below).
Despite a blizzard that shut down electrical power in the cast’s hotel earlier this week (“seems like a good premise for a Stephen King story,” she quipped), Carlene is thoroughly enjoying her return to the theater, having worked earlier in her career in the London West End production of Pump Boys and Dinettes and in the Nashville-produced musical Wildwood Flowers in which she starred in the role of June Carter Cash, her own mother. “Gina and Billy are awesome and the whole cast is truly stellar as is director Susan Booth,” she commented. “I’m honored to be part of the whole Ghost Brothers experience and the passion that Stephen and John have brought to the piece is truly inspiring to me.” Carlene was recruited to join the Ghost Brothers touring company by Mellencamp on whose Plain Spoken North American tour she will be special guest over the course of 80 dates next January to August.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is a collaboration 16 years in the making, and blend of unique musical and staging styles. Throughout the production, the eerie blues ‘n’ roots music reveals the inner workings of the characters as opposed to just propelling the play’s narrative, with only a few songs directly advancing the plot. The haunting tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge, begins with Joe McCandless reflecting on a past tragedy involving his two older brothers battling over a girl which ended in the unfortunate deaths of all three. Now with Joe as an adult and two boys of his own, he’s watching an all too familiar scenario play out before his eyes. With his sons at each other’s throats, Joe’s story will either save or destroy the McCandless family.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County performance dates:
Nov 8 Orono, ME Collins Center For The Arts
Nov 9 Orono, ME Collins Center For The Arts
Nov 11 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
Nov 13 Philadelphia, PA Merriam Theatre
Nov 14 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
Nov 15 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
Nov 16 Baltimore, MD The Modell Performing Arts Center at the LYRIC
Nov 18 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre
Nov 20 Portland, ME Merrill Auditorium
Nov 21 Boston, MA Emerson Colonial Theatre
Nov 22 Providence, RI The VETS
Nov 24 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Nov 26 Detroit, MI Fisher Theatre
Nov 28 Chicago, IL Broadway in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre
Nov 29 St. Louis, MO Peabody Opera House
Dec 1 Denver, CO Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
Dec 3 Phoenix, AZ Orpheum Theatre
Dec 4 Los Angeles, CA Saban Theatre
Dec 5 San Francisco, CA SHN Curran Theatre
Dec 6 San Francisco, CA SHN Curran Theatre