Associated Press: 'Hybrid' King-Mellencamp Musical Kicks Off Tour
10.10.2013 - View photos from the dress rehearsal at the Indiana University Auditorium on October 9th
By Michael Conroy -
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- A musical production that's a result of a
collaboration between rocker John Mellencamp and horror writer Stephen King is
launching a 20-city theatrical tour in Indiana.
"Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" was 13 years in the making as King and
Mellencamp worked on it between what the rocker calls their "real jobs."
The musical's roots lie in a cabin Mellencamp bought on Lake Monroe in
southern Indiana to use as a family retreat. He said he quickly noticed strange
occurrences, such as window blinds opening and items moving around. He learned
from the previous owners that the cabin was believed to be haunted by two young
men who had died there decades before in a quarrel over a girl.
Mellencamp went to King with an idea for a musical play featuring two
brothers who are ghosts and haunt the cabin.
"I just kind of went ... that's my sweet spot," King said.
The unconventional musical, which King describes as a "real hybrid of the
musical experience and radio show," has evolved since the pair conceived the
idea. Spoken words drive the story just as they do in a play. The music helps
flesh out the characters.
King said the pair met in Florida, New York, Maine and at Mellencamp's
southern Indiana studio to work on the production.
Mellencamp said they don't have a long-range plan for the show, but both say
they never set out to do a traditional Broadway production.
"I don't have a problem with Broadway, but I do think that a lot of the shows
and a lot of the musicals are really, really big. And we wanted to do something
that was kind of like 'Big River,'" King said. "It was a little bit smaller, a
little bit grittier, a little bit more down-home America."