Friday, October 25, 2013

365 Poems: Ghost bros -- Everybody dies, but the happy music makes it better

Day 298

For a moment on Thursday night, towards the end of the Stephen King/John Mellencamp/T. Bone Burnett musical "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," I believed in happy endings.

The 21st century brothers, having learned a lesson from their father's (interminable) story, have made up. Mom has forgiven Dad and seem poised on the edge of a happy old age. The little blond(s) have sung happy songs and are ready to live happily ever after -- or in the hereafter -- with their chosen bros. Feet tap.

But this isn't a music video, and Stephen King is no Frank Capra. If I thought, even for a second, that my friend Sarah and I would walk out with happy smiles full of uplift, I was such a fool.

King came through at the end, and the red guy made sure of it. Everybody died.

But, thank you, John Mellencamp! They died singing a happy song! So it wasn't quite the downer of, say, 'Under the Dome' (no spoiler intended, TV fans).

Long story short: Yea, I liked it, although I think it needs a little work. Best thing: Music. Worked needed, storywise: Establish which character is which in the first 10 minutes. Distinguish between the 1967 bros and the 2007 bros. Tighten up the whole thing -- good God, get that story told, Dad! And clarify what's happened, or is happening, or whatever, between 2007 and the present -- we never did figure that out. The cast -- great. Really strong voices. The little kid  (young dad), of course, stole the show. And the Embassy Theater is always an amazing place to attend anything.

And I should give a shout-out to Groupon, which made our attendance possible at 70% off tickets. Free poster, too.

I keep calling it Dark Brothers of Ghostland County, for no good reason.

Listen in:

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