Eric Anthony, left, and Ben Hope perform the songs of the Everly Brothers in the musical “Dream,” opening Friday at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick. Photo by Madeline Bonahue, courtesy of Maine State Music Theatre

Maine State Music Theatre gets back in the business of producing musicals this weekend when it hosts a three-day, six-show premiere of “Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers.” The original musical has performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick.

Maine State has hosted a few concerts, but “Dream” is its first musical-style production since the pandemic.

The show stars Broadway actors Eric Scott Anthony and Ben Hope, who wrote it and play all the music. The show tells the story of Phil and Don Everly, through words and music, and includes familiar songs like “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have to Do is Dream,” as well as more obscure songs like “Poor Jenny.”

“There are some delightful B-sides and deep tracks,” Hope said. “We tried to write this for avid fans and also for people who have never heard of the Everly Brothers.”

The Everly Brothers became popular in the 1950s and influenced a generation of music fans with their distinctive, brotherly harmonies. “Dream” is not a tribute show. “We talk about the lives of Don and Phil, but we are not doing a jukebox musical. This is an evening celebrating their music and talking about their lives as people,” Anthony said.

Anthony and Hope met while making music together in a honky-tonk band in New York. “When we started singing harmony, we realized our voices had a similar quality. They blended well and mingled nicely,” Anthony said. “Over the years, I have thought that we ought to do an Everly Brothers show, and we found ourselves with an extra-large amount of free time these last 18 months. So we thought, ‘Why not crack this open and see what we find?’”

Anthony has performed on Broadway in “Ring of Fire,” toured nationally with the musical “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” and last appeared at Maine State in “Million Dollar Quartet.” Hope debuted on Broadway in “Once.”

The two actors, who both live in New Jersey, are doubling up their workload in Maine. In addition to starring in “Dream” this weekend in Brunswick, they will appear in the Johnny Cash musical “Ring of Fire,” opening in early August at Portland Stage. Both shows are co-productions between the two theaters.

For tickets for “Dream,” which range from $50-$70, go to msmt.org or call 207-725-8769.


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