My Fox Atlanta: Stephen King, John Mellencamp Work On Musical In Atlanta

By Julia Reynolds/myfoxatlanta

They're a trifecta of sorts who say they're trying to make their mark on Atlanta.Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett are in Atlanta to work on a musical set to debut at the Alliance Theatre next year.

“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” will premiere in April. The creators say it’s a they say it's a ghost story of sorts involving tragedy and mystery.

Stephen King wrote the musical 12 years ago and finally decided to bring it to Atlanta.

“ We wanted a place that was cosmopolitan but not out of touch with country roots,” said King.
“This is a country story, a southern gothic kind of story. I felt like we've got an audience here.”

John Mellencamp, who composed the music, says they actually tried to put on the production in New York, but that it wasn't a good fit.

“I don't need to hear my song sung that way,” Mellencamp said, referring to the way in which many Broadway songs are performed. 

“The first thing I wanted it to sound like was foggy. Dark and foggy and...scary,” said Burnett.

More than a third of the cast members are from Atlanta. They will rehearse for the next four months before opening night on April 4

“I came down and looked at the facility and my eyes about fell out of my head,” said King.

The famous writer did have one complaint about the city.

“The only thing about Atlanta I don't like is all the traffic. If you're on foot, it's the one place I've been, including New York, where they speed up when you're crossing the street,” said King.

He said the city felt authentic.

“It doesn't feel showy and put on,” he said. “It feels like home.”

King and Mellencamp say they're not sure Broadway is on the horizon for the production; they just want it to be a big success here.