Ghost The Musical is a more realistic projection of the movie. The similar scene of the pottery wheel has been carried over in “Ghost The Musical”. Same goes for the hit song “Unchained Melody,” which is sung many times and reminds you of the movie but the Broadway show is indeed different, trendy and magical. Ghost the Musical is a faithful and moving adaptation of the 1990 Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore romantic fantasy that isn’t just an iconic chick flick anymore. The musical is very much like the movie but updated to the present day. Banker Sam (Richard Fleeshman) and artist Molly (Caissie Levy) are enjoying a steamy and passionate romance until Sam is murdered during an arranged robbery.
Now a ghost, Sam learns that the robbery was arranged by his co-worker Carl (Bryce Pinkham) as part of a money laundering scheme. In order to warn Molly that she is in danger, he must rely on Oda Mae Brown (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), a storefront psychic who can talk to Sam. Director Matthew Warchus, who also staged the Broadway-bound musical “Matilda,” uses massive LED screens to pack the stage with nonstop stunning visual imagery and special effects.
In addition to depicting numerous New York spots, the screens are used to pull off the complicated supernatural moments, such as when Sam’s soul departs his body. The video projections are slick and impressive. The audience is also impressed when objects are touched and moved by Sam magically. The special effects are vivid and out of this world. Randolph, who has a tremendous voice and is just as hilarious as Whoopi Goldberg in the movie, left the audience chuckling many times. Many bad reviews are due to the expectation that the spectacle be exactly like the movie. “Ghost The Musical” playing on Broadway in New York City is different, marvelous and a must-see.
Book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin, based on the 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; additional movement sequences by Liam Steel. Presented by Colin Ingram, Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Donovan Mannato, MJE Productions, Patricia Lambrecht and Adam Silberman, in association with Coppel/Watt/Withers/Bewick, Fin Gray/Michael Melnick, Mayerson/Gould Hauser/Tysoe, Richard Chaifetz and Jill Chaifetz, Jeffrey B. Hecktman, Land Line Productions, Gilbert Productions/Marion/Shahar and Fresh Glory Productions/Bruce Carnegie-Brown, by special arrangement with Paramount Pictures. At the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, 205 West 46th Street, Manhattan, NY; (877) 250-2929, ticketmaster.com. Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes.
Cast: 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).