May 18, 2012
Synopsis: Based on the 1990 movie, Ghost is the story of Sam and Molly, two star-crossed lovers who are mugged one night, leaving Sam murdered and caught between this world and the next. When he realizes that Molly is in danger, he enlists the help of the very unwilling Oda Mae Brown, a psychic of questionable abilities, to communicate with Molly.
Sidenote: I have never seen the movie, Ghost.
Comments: As the overture begins, the New York skyline is projected onto a large screen on the stage and the audience has the “3-Dimensional” experience of “flying” over NYC. Immediately, the audience feels as though they are about to witness something out-of-this-world. It’s magical.
I loved Ghost because of its relatability. But what could be relatable about a ghost caught between two worlds?? Well, one special thing about Ghost is that it’s a drama, a comedy, a romance, and a mystery- there is something in it for everyone to enjoy. The story takes the audience on an emotional journey as they laugh, smile, and cry over the course of two and a half hours. As most of us have lost a loved one suddenly, the audience undoubtedly identifies with Molly’s grief and sheds tears for her loss. Not all musical theatre characters are able to sustain this kind of connection with the audience. Lastly, Ghost gives us the universal messages of hope, living each day to the fullest, and doing the right thing, messages that we all need to hear from time to time.
The heart of the show lies with Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman, who are reprising their roles from the West End production of Ghost. As Sam and Molly, the two actors have wonderful (emotional and romantic) chemistry together. I loved Caissie Levy as Molly. She has a beautiful, crystal-clear voice and her performance was very authentic and heartfelt. Aside from being easy on the eyes, Richard Fleeshman is endearing as Molly’s ill-fated boyfriend, Sam, and he too has a wonderful voice.
The comedic relief of the show is provided by Tony nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae Brown. After seeing her performance, I now understand the Tony nomination! She was hysterical. Let me put it this way- when she is on stage, there is very little time when the audience is NOT laughing.
Three days after I saw the show, I bought the cast recording. With music and lyrics written by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, the score captures the emotional gravity of the story while also lightening the burden with more upbeat, comical songs.
Ghost received Tony nominations for Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design, which are well-deserved. The special effects and illusions were just amazing to see live on stage: objects moving in mid air, “ghosts” walking through doors, and the instant, seamless separation of spirit and body into two entities. The set gives the impression of being on another plane. The sets, lighting, and illusions were just magical. This is not something that you will see on Broadway every day.
The Verdict: I strongly recommend that everyone go see Ghost on Broadway.
Buy the cast recording.