- By Elysa Gardner USA TODAY

Like Paul Simon, Elton John, Randy Newman, Duncan Sheik, Bono and The Edge and others before him, John Mellencamp is trying his hand at musical theater. Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, just opened at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, is described in a press release as a “Southern Gothic musical set to a roots and blues-tinged score,” with a book by fellow stage newbie Stephen King.

On Broadway, a musical adaptation of the 1990 film Ghost is in previews, featuring a score by rock savant Dave Stewart — noted for his work in Eurythmics and as a solo artist and superstar collaborat­or — and veteran hitmaker Glen Ballard.

With the form’s demand for compelling melodies and narratives, it’s hardly surprising that establishe­d musical storytelle­rs have been lured to the theater — and not just as places to dump their catalogs into jukebox fare. Here’s a look at few familiar artists throwing their hats into the ring for the first time.

 ?? By Mike Coppola, Getty Images ??
By Mike Coppola, Getty Images

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