Mellencamp Puts Stephen King’s Ghosts of Carrie to Rest???Date: 5 March 2008
Could the combination of master horror novelist Stephen King and rocker John Mellencamp produce a stage musical thriller akin to Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd? The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia is hoping so. In April 2009, it will present the world premiere of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, with a book by King and a score by Mellencamp.
Set in rural Mississippi in 1957, the story revolves around two battling brothers who are taken by their father to a remote cabin, where the father’s own older, hate-filled brothers killed each other years ago. The uncles’ ghosts now haunt the property. Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s Peter Askin will direct the premiere. Mellencamp Rolling Stone magazine: "If it goes well in Atlanta, then we'll come to Broadway. If it don't go well in Atlanta, we're done."
Both King and Mellencamp will make their musical writing debuts with Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, though it isn’t the first time King’s work will be seen on stage. His 1987 novel Misery was adapted for the stage, as was – infamously – his 1974 novel Carrie. Following a run in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s musical of the latter transferred to Broadway, where it closed after just five performances in 1988.
Mellencamp, previously known as Johnny Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp, made his name with chart hits including “Jack and Diane”, “Hurts So Good”, “Authority Song” and “Pink Houses”. Next week (10 March 2008), he’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.