Gina Gershon might have signed on to lead a new tour of "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" a lot earlier if producers had reached her — instead of her sister.
A copy of the script and music for the show was accidentally sent to Tracy Gershon, Gina's sister and a vice president at Rounder Records in Nashville, Tennessee. Tracy Gerson told her sister about the package but it wasn't clear who they really wanted.
Eventually, Gina Gershon's theatrical agent was contacted and the actress was offered the gig. "I guess they'd been trying to track me down and they found me. I said, 'Oh, you WERE looking for me!'" she said.
Gershon now finds herself headlining the show created by Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett. It's a slice of southern Gothic that involves ghosts and two generations of feuding brothers.
The monthlong tour next makes stops in Philadelphia; Durham, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Red Bank, New Jersey; Portland, Maine; Boston; Providence, Rhode Island; New York City; Detroit; Chicago; St. Louis, Missouri; Denver; Phoenix; Los Angeles; and San Francisco.
The musical premiered in 2012 at the Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and went on a 20-city tour in 2013. The script has gone through many revisions and the format — a stripped-down production with a band onstage — is hard to describe.
"It's so different. It's not quite a full-blown musical. It's not just a rock 'n' roll show. It's a little bit more than a radio play," says Gershon, whose films include "Bound" and "Cocktail" and who has starred on Broadway in "Cabaret" and "Boeing Boeing."
Gershon plays Monique McCandless, who tries to keep her battling sons together, and is married to a haunted man, portrayed by Charlie Swan from "Twilight." Her part has been reworked to be "much more complicated and defined."
The actress says she's in awe of King, whose creativity is matched only by his speed. "I love the way he writes women. He understands them in some instinctual way and he writes great female characters."
As for Mellencamp's score, Gershon says she adores the music, which is not far from her own preferred taste. Her 2007 CD "In Search of Cleo" also had a blues, country and folk vibe.
"I feel like when you do a musical, you have to like the music, especially when you're doing it eight shows a week. It's important. I can't do something unless I like the music or it'll drive me crazy."