After years of writing music and producing records in Nashville, Don Chaffer—front man for the duo Waterdeep (with wife Lori)—takes a foray into the music theater world of New York. While Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar light up Broadway, Son of a Gun, a loosely autobiographical stage translation of Chaffer's 2006 "Khrusty Brothers" concept album, will be playing a few blocks away at the Firebone Theater, from Nov. 1-18.
Through the mouthpieces of lively characters like "Cowboy Jesus" and "Lucy Sunshine," the production—with music and lyrics by Chaffer—asks the hard questions of life.
Officially, it's being billed as "a quirky, darkly comic, rock musical that tells the story of Danderhauler Agamenon Khrusty, the eldest of three sons of Winston and Elmadora Khrusty, and the heir apparent to the throne of the Khrusty family Appalachian band. Danderhauler's life is dominated by the charismatic personality of his father, a highly-functioning, highly-entertaining alcoholic. When Danderhauler meets the love of his life, Lucy Sunshine, they conspire to free him of the burden of his father's addiction, but their plans are thwarted by the surprising news of Winston's tongue cancer. Winston's tongue is promptly removed to save his life, forcing Danderhauler to step up as the new band leader. As the events that follow spiral out of control, Danderhauler clings to his love for Lucy to keep him upright. When even that window of hope is shattered, Danderhauler is forced to confront his dead father, which he does by means of an old fashioned cowboy duel."
Got that? We weren't exactly sure either, so we asked Chaffer to tell us all about it.1