Wow! So I was just hitting Amazon for a little low-money-week window-shopping and saw a new book by Stephen King called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. The description says that it’s about two sets of brothers in Mississippi: two uncles who apparently murder/suicided, and their nephews, who are on track to meet the same fate. Their father, Joe, has a mega-terrible secret he needs to wash out of his hair before it’s too late for the boys. Now to me, that sounds like Stephen King.
What really got my interest was that the description referred to the book as a libretto. I’m not fully familiar with that term; I can say it’s Italian and it has something to do with operas. Then I see John Mellencamp’s name and I’m drawn in. Clicking on the popup that gave me that little synopsis reveals to me that there’s an “acclaimed Southern Gothic supernatural musical” out there – written by Stephen King, scored by John Mellencamp, and debuted last month at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. What? Sweet!
And it turns out the story was Mellencamp’s idea. On the musical’s Wikipedia page, he is quoted: “It won’t be Jack and Diane meets Cujo. He’s already written the story — it’s very beautiful, more like The Green Mile. It’s an American story about an American family. Some of the characters are 100 years old, some are 15.”
Neat. To boot, there’s a hardcover/CD/DVD version shipping on June 4th; although it’s unclear whether the DVD will actually include a shoot of the musical itself (likely not,) the music is all there and there’s notes on the play’s production, interviews, et cetera. The price on Amazon is $29.90, which is 40% off the list price of about fifty dollars (which I think is a bit steep. Thank you, Amazon.)
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? What do you think about America’s favorite horror writer putting his craft on the stage?