Saturday, December 20, 2014

Justin Guarini in world premiere of Stephen King musical

Doylestown-raised American Idol star Justin Guarini takes the Atlanta, Ga., stage in the world premiere of a new musical written by Stephen King and with John Mellencamp

Justin Guarini in world premiere of Stephen King musical

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Doylestown-raised American Idol superstar Justin Guarini is taking Atlanta by storm as one of the stars of a stage musical written by Stephen King.

A Stephen King musical? Yep, that’s right.

The purveyor of putrefied gore, the master of the macabre has combined forces with John Mellencamp to create Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre,

Justin plays Drake McCandless, one of the feuding sons of Joe McCandless (Tony winner Shuler Hensley). The show costars Lucas Kavner as one of Drake’s brothers.

Here is how Justin’s people describe the musical:

"In the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi in 1967, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next forty years, the events of that night became the stuff of local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie.  Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him - or tear the McCandless family apart forever."

Justin, 33, who was the runner-up on the debut season of Fox' American Idol, says the musical has given him a chance to expand his range as an actor.

“I get to play a wide range of dark emotions during my time on stage,” Justin tells Atlanta Neighbors Newspapers. “[It’s] not something I experience in the day-to-day of my real life. I enjoy stepping outside my personal comfort zone on stage.”

Justin says he can relate to character Drake, who “is a small-town locally famous musician with dreams of hitting the big-time country scene.”

The show is a homecoming of sorts for Justin, who was born in Atlanta. His dad, Eldrin Bell is a former Atlanta Chief of Police (Bell is currently a member of city government).

Before moving to our region, Justin cut his teeth as a sapling singer with the Atlanta Boy Choir, which he joined when he was four years old.

Here's a trailer for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County:

Tirdad Derakhshani Inquirer Sideshow Columnist
About this blog
Tirdad Derakhshani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in London and rural North Jersey, where he closely studied a theoretical, radical post-Hegelian approach to cow-tipping. He moved to Philadelphia in the mid-‘80s to seek enlightenment, and instead received a B.A. in literature at Penn. While pursuing doctoral studies in modern religious thought and philosophy, he worked at the Inquirer as a news clerk, researcher, editor, and entertainment writer.

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Tirdad Derakhshani Inquirer Sideshow Columnist
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