Musical Dramatizing Scott Wolter's Kensington Rune Stone Claims Set for Minnesota Debut
I found it amusing when Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee created Jerry Springer: The Opera in 2003, but I didn’t think there would be much of a market for turning TV shows into musical extravaganzas. Movies? Sure. But TV? Then we got the Addams Family musical and plans for one based on The Honeymooners. But I draw the line at an America Unearthed musical. Sorry, there’s no way I’m paying to see that. However, since I don’t get to decide these things, we’re getting one anyway.
Minnesota writer-director Sheridan O’Keefe is dramatizing Scott F. Wolter’s investigation into the Kensington Rune Stone for the aptly-named Minnesota Fringe Festival. Despite its name, the festival is a performing arts show, not a conspiracy theory gathering.
O’Keefe told the Sun This Week newspaper that he consulted informally with America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter about the play, titled The Ohman Stone, and based the play’s main character, heroic investigator Brian Storm, on Wolter.
O’Keefe said that he became interested in the Kensington Rune Stone after attending a talk by Wolter eight years ago, and the two quickly became friends. O’Keefe, like novelist David Brody before him, felt compelled to turn his friendship with Wolter into art and to put Wolter’s ideas into fictional form. O’Keefe describes his musical as a cross between Hamlet and 12 Angry Men, but with a significant comedic dimension. (Make of that what you will.)
The musical will feature a “hip-hop Hallelujah” chorus at its conclusion, according to a casting call published in May.
In the musical the Wolter character descends to the underworld and interrogates the ghosts of the major figures in the Kensington Rune Stone story. O’Keefe explains that he wrote the musical to expose the nefarious agenda of organized academia, which (as we have heard so many times) is suppressing the truth: “I think this is going to be one of the most controversial shows the Fringe Festival has ever done — it doesn’t put academia in a very good light.”
In O’Keefe’s May casting call he offered more specific details: “It will be edgy and controversial and we pull no punches with the academic community who harshly judged and demeaned the poor Swedish immigrant farmer Olof Ohman who found the Stone on his land. It is a 116 year story that has almost a cult following. It is a story about religious bigotry and redemption.”
Religious bigotry? That sounds like a Scott Wolter Templar-Cistercian goddess-worship claim to me.
O’Keefe is particular outraged by what he sees as an academic hit job on Olof Ohman, the discoverer of the Rune Stone. “Scholars accused Olof Ohman of being a con man,” he told the Sun This Week. “The way they treated the Ohmans, the way they slandered Olof, who was an honorable man with nine children, the way they tainted the Ohmans’ name was completely unjustified.” The scholars in question were Erik Wahlgren and Theodore C. Blegen, who both believed Ohman had carved the stone himself, a position partially supported by secondhand testimony from the descendants of those involved. Others have proposed different candidates, but Ohman’s grandson Darwin Ohman has pushed the story that scholars were defaming his grandfather. The younger Ohman has worked closely with Scott Wolter and also served as a consultant on The Ohman Stone.
The play is scheduled to debut August 2.
7/3/2014 05:15:22 am
7/3/2014 05:55:27 am
Scott Wolter has now attained total & complete celebrity status...
7/5/2014 03:24:05 pm
It's not official until he appears on Ellen.
7/3/2014 05:56:07 am
"Brian Storm"? Dirk Pitt will be jealous.
7/3/2014 06:22:29 am
7/3/2014 06:41:53 am
i too was having an H.L Mencken moment.
7/3/2014 06:57:58 am
So I'm guessing this will be one of those plays that opens and closes on the same night - unless the production is put on in some guy's backyard?
7/3/2014 07:32:30 am
Can a show at the Hjalmar Holand, Sons of Norway Lodge be in their future?
7/3/2014 08:20:43 am
<deep rhythmic drumming>Brian Storm, a simple, unassuming, and honorable man...played four years of college 'ball, then two years professional before realizing that only he could stop this millennia-old hatchet job on the White people of America. <close in on a rugged-yet-approachable face> With hardly an academic credit to bog him down or dull his mind, Storm sets off on a wild adventure of pratfalls, ill-informed declarations, and ghosts -- two of whom he beds! <cat calls> Come, young and old, and join Brian Storm on the ride of a lifetime! IN WOLTER WE TRUST! Tickets $45 in advance, $60 at the door, no photography or degree-holding individuals allowed.
7/3/2014 10:12:02 am
Maybe we can help them come up with a catchy name for the musical:
7/3/2014 01:29:26 pm
I can't wait for the highly anticipated numbers, "Hey Big Templar", "Ohman River", and "Good Morning Bloodline".
7/3/2014 05:17:13 pm
7/3/2014 06:05:18 pm
I also suggest:
7/5/2014 07:14:30 am
I personally find the Book of Morons to be the best one.
7/3/2014 11:06:34 am
"In the musical the Wolter character descends to the underworld..." I assume he's driving in a clown car.
7/3/2014 02:03:02 pm
Hopefully H2 will broadcast it live.
7/3/2014 05:50:50 pm
As long as we don't get a Scott Wolter-themed porno, it's all good.
7/4/2014 02:02:32 am
Lots of Archeo-Porn from Wolter
7/4/2014 06:44:19 pm
Rule 34, man. Rule 34.
7/3/2014 08:17:40 pm
Two minor corrections - the writer of "Jerry Springer" is Stewart Lee, not Steward; and the "Fringe" Festival is probably inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an arts, theatre and comedy festival which was started as the "fringe" of the real Edinburgh Festival, which was Royal and had horses in it and so on.
7/4/2014 03:19:16 am
Given who is behind this, the musical is guaranteed to be historically inaccurate and biased. One more example of the exploitation of the Kensington Runestone story for personal and commercial gain.
7/4/2014 03:19:21 pm
This reminds me of someone... :)
7/6/2014 04:55:02 am
Dunn - Just returned from a week in the Kensington area and will give you some real facts. Olof Ohman died in 1935. His grave stone has a mechanical wear line of .oo5 in. It took 75 years for mother nature to make this line. The Kensington rune stone has .022 in. mechanical wear line. It took mother nature over 300 years to make this line. The KRS was found Oct. 9th 1898 on the south west side of the hill where it is marked. It was not found during thrashing season on top of the hill. The stone triangle holes on the hill do not triangulate to locate the stone, especially the many ones located far from the hill. The camp site which is marked by a test dig for academics to perform a qualified dig produced many artifacts that are like the ones found in the Godfrey 1948 dig at the Newport Tower. (Metal spoon, clay pipe, whetstone, hand forged square nails, chisel point). In 1927 five business men from Alexandria took the KRS from the people of Kensington to promote their town and business. Two of these men were attorneys. If you want to understand the documented function of the KRS read the 1494 treaty, chapter 3 between Spain and Portugal. It will explain the process for making a land claim.
7/6/2014 05:24:18 am
OK, it's not April 1....
7/6/2014 09:14:27 am
Martin - No it is not April 1st. It was not in Sept. also as some have stated. It was not on top the hill so all the stone holes could be triangulated to find it as some have said.
7/6/2014 04:55:25 pm
I think Martin R was referring to the musical, since most seem to agree it's in poor taste.
7/8/2014 07:41:42 am
If Scott ever did descend to the underworld, he would have Satan carrying his briefcase within a week.
7/8/2014 01:33:34 pm
Judging by his performance on the Finale of Season One, I doubt his ability to successfully descend anywhere.
7/8/2014 08:41:41 pm
He descended pretty good in a mini-sub during season two's The Underwater Pyramids. I think it was agreed we were happy the sub survived it's Wolter experience.
8/2/2014 04:35:28 pm
Hey, sorry I missed this blog entry before email you earlier! The Fringe Fest really is pretty awesome, they choose submitted plays in a raffle, so it was only by chance that this one got through. I saw it this afternoon (had to) and it was.... er, interesting (to use the Minnesota term). I was not expecting the rap battle ending I was like, oh, no, they aren't, they can't, no! But they did. Also the fifteen minute lecture breaking up the proceedings and the frankly creepy love story between a Scott Wolter-esque TV host (with a myth busting show) fell in love with the ghost of Amanda Ohman after seeing a picture of her. Seemed a bit exploitative to me. Also, it was so "edgy" and controversial for a Fringe play (known to be in general, rather counterculture and envelope pushing), they didn't even say anything worse than "gosh" and "doggone it." I also didn't see the "religious bigotry" anywhere, if anything it, it said pretty plainly that it is in effect Unchristian not to believe in the stone.
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