SAVANNAH, GA – November 23, 2020–The beloved and long-running musical stage show King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running: Songs & Stories of the Carolina Coast will celebrate its 35th anniversary this December. The original cast, dubbed The Coastal Cohorts and featuring Tybee local Jim Wann, Bland Simpson, and Don Dixon, will commemorate this anniversary with a four-night streaming event of the original PBS filmed stage production of the show every evening at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-12, 2020. In addition, a digital release of cast recordings and newer music will be available.
King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running will donate proceeds from music sales during the streaming events to North Carolina coastal conservation efforts, designating one charity each night. These nonprofits include Core Sound Waterfall Museum and Heritage Center, North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, North Carolina Nature Conservancy, and the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
“We never knew when we first staged the show in 1985 what the life of King Mackerel might be,” said Coastal Cohort Jim Wann. “Celebrating the show’s 35th anniversary, we can enthusiastically state how glad we are to still be helping those whose mission is protecting maritime environments and heritage, for it is also our own.”
King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running is a long-running and beloved theatrical performance of music and stories about fishing and life along the Carolina coastline. Called “a pure salt watered delight” by the late Clive Barnes, New York Post theater critic, King Mackerel is full of tall tales and rollicking songs told by The Coastal Cohorts–a trio of good-ole boys who happen to be staging a benefit concert to save the Corncake Inlet Inn. The lively cast of fishermen-musicians sings up a storm, tells fish stories, ghost stories, and relates accounts of first loves and ones that got away.
The musical, written and conceived by Bland Simpson and Jim Wann with help from Don Dixon and Jerry Leath Mills, has had many productions around the coast, including a show last year at the Tybee Post Theater. The original line-up of Coastal Cohorts has carried the show from Key West to Martha’s Vineyard over King Mackerel’s 35-year run.
Those players include Don Dixon, bassist, singer-songwriter and renowned record producer of such musical groups as REM, the Smithereens, Marti Jones, Hootie & the Blowfish and more; Bland Simpson, pianist, of The Red Clay Ramblers and Kenan Distinguished Professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina; and Tybee Island local Jim Wann, guitarist, principal composer-lyricist of Pump Boys & Dinettes, the Broadway hit that was a Tony and Drama Desk Nominee for Best Broadway Musical and winner of the Olivier Award in the U.K.
A tour to celebrate the 35th anniversary was postponed due to COVID-19, and the original Cohorts plan to take the show back out on the road when it is safe to do so. For more information visit kingmackerelmusical.com or follow @KingMackerelMusical on Facebook and Instagram.
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