A musical about ‘Jack and Diane?’ Details emerge about new John Mellencamp project

John Mellencamp will be co-writing a new stage musical inspired by his 1982 chart-topper “Jack and Diane,” which is about “two American kids growing up in the heartland,” according to a statement.

Mellencamp will be contributing music and lyrics to the so far untitled project, which will tell the story of “people who live, love and die on the underside of the American Dream in small towns across our country,” said the statement from Republic Records, Federal Films and Universal Music Theatrical, which are teaming up to produce the show.

The production will be directed by Kathleen Marshall, who won three Tony Awards for her work as a choreographer on the shows
“Wonderful Town,” “The Pajama Game” and “Anything Goes.”

The book for the musical is being written by award-winning playwright Naomi Wallace.

The play “is a tale, laced with humor and visceral energy, about star-crossed lovers, and their stubborn refusal to give up, to lie down, to let go of the potential their youthful dreams once promised,” the statement said.

“This is also a story about a town in free-fall, and the tough choices people make, not always in their best interests,” the statement continued.

In an interview with NBC in December, Mellencamp said, “We’re getting ready to mount ‘Jack and Diane’ as a Broadway…musical.”

He also noted that “every problem that this country’s going through today is in that musical. This is not a jukebox musical. My ambitions are set very high, as close to [John] Steinbeck as we can get it in today’s world, with these two kids.”

Mellencamp’s latest album, “Other People’s Stuff,” was released in December.

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