When I first heard about the 1990s film “Ghost”being turned into a musical, I was intrigued. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be translated into musical theater, but was excited to hear about the special effects.
Coined by the New York Times as a “thrill-free singing theme-park ride,” Ghost The Musical is an experience. With elaborate sets and fast scene changes, the two hour and 30 minute show is a whirlwind experience. The musical uses modern technology such as video projections displayed on transparent walls made of medium-resolution LED screens.
The two main protagonists of the story are portrayed by actors Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy. Originally portrayed by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in the film, the two protagonists, Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen, are a young NYC couple with big dreams and a bright future. After moving in together in a Brooklyn apartment, Molly is an upcoming sculptor who wants to hear those three little words while Sam is a banker who has trouble telling her anything but “Ditto”. When Sam is killed in a mugging, what would seem to be the end is only the beginning. While being trapped in limbo, Sam befriends psychic Oda Mae Brown, and sees the truth about those he trusted, and the truth about his death.
The chemistry between Fleeshman and Levy is apparent. Their portrayal of a couple in love is believable. Their distraught emotions of being apart are well acted and sung . However, it is Ms. Randolph, who portrays Oda Mae Brown, who stole the show. Her witty comebacks, colorful scenes and sharp lines add life to the musical. The show is indeed an emotional, mental and visual roller coaster. The broadway show is an accurate portrayal of the movie, and it was an interesting translation.
Sidenote: Ghost the Musical will close on August 18 in New York City.
Book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin, based on the 1990s Paramount Pictures film written by Mr. Rubin; music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard; directed by Matthew Warchus; designed by Rob Howell; choreography by Ashley Wallen; lighting by Hugh Vanstone; illusions by Paul Kieve; sound by Bobby Aitken; musical supervisor, arranger and orchestrator, Christopher Nightingale; projections and video by Jon Driscoll; general management, Bespoke Theatricals; production management, Aurora Productions; musical director, David Holcenberg; associate director, Thomas Caruso
WITH: Richard Fleeshman (Sam Wheat), Caissie Levy (Molly Jensen), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Oda Mae Brown), Bryce Pinkham (Carl Bruner), Michael Balderrama (Willie Lopez) and Lance Roberts (Hospital Ghost).
WHEN: Shows run through Saturday, August 18, 2012
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