In a season of films-turned-musicals hitting the 2012 Broadway musical scene, perhaps the most anticipated (and scoffed at) is the original Broadway production of the Academy Award-winning film, Ghost the Musical. However, a show about ghosts and psychics might be just the thing audiences are looking for in 2012.
Ghost became a blockbuster hit and an instant classic, winning numerous awards worldwide. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film in 1990, the film took home a few trophies at that year's Oscars.
Set in modern day New York City, Ghost The Musical is an exploration into the incredible and limitless power of love. Part fantasy, part down-to-earth romance, the story follows "Sam" and "Molly," a couple very much in love. They are torn apart one fateful night when they are mugged on the way back to their apartment. Sam is murdered, and Molly is left to go on alone. But Sam is unable -- or unwilling -- to completely leave Molly, and his ghost remains to help her when he learns she is in danger. Adding levity to the situation is fake psychic, "Oda Mae Brown," who surprises even herself as she channels information from Sam to save Molly's life.
The film starred dancer-turned-actor Patrick Swayze, who had won over television audiences in the mini-series "North and South," then cultivated an entirely new following with his breakout performance in the dance film Dirty Dancing. Demi Moore was catapulted to fame playing "Molly" in Ghost, and Whoopi Goldberg played storefront pyshic "Oda Mae Brown," winning a controversial Academy Award for her role. Many people thought it was a consolation prize for Goldberg being passed over for an Oscar for her incredible performance in Steven Spielberg's The Colore Purple.
Playing the famous but star-crossed lovers are Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy as "Sam" and "Molly," respectively. Fleeshman and Levy are reprising their roles in the show, which they originated in the acclaimed London West End production. Joining them in this romantic comedy with a paranormal twist are newcomer Da’Vine Joy Randolph as "Oda Mae Brown" and Bryce Pinkham as "Carl Bruner."
Ghost The Musical is directed by Tony Award winning director Matthew Warchus who also worked on God of Carnage, The Norman Conquests, and Boeing-Boeing. The show is choreographed by Ashley Wallen who has worked on television's "The X Factor" and with international pop star Kylie Minogue.
The film was directed by Jerry Zucker and was honored with a few Academy Awards. Bruce Joel Rubin won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Bringing the story of Ghost to life through music is a team of Grammy Award and Academy Award winners. The new, original score was created by Dave Stewart, most famous as half of the multi-Grammy Award winning Eurythmics, opposite Annie Lennox, and Glen Ballard who contributed to Michael Jackson's Man In The Mirror and Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.
As many audiences will remember from the film, the Righteous Brothers' love anthem, "Unchained melody," was the underscore for a seminal moment when Molly is at the potter's wheel and feels Sam's presence. Not wanting to disappoint, the stage show's creative team recognized it would create a special moment in the musical version as it had in the film.
The book for Ghost the Musical is written by the film's screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin of Jacob’s Ladder and The Time Traveler’s Wife. Rubin adapted his Academy Award winning original screenplay to accommodate the needs of the stage and the genre of musical theatre.
Ghost the Musical's musical supervision and arrangements are by Christopher Nightingale with set and costume designs by Rob Howell. Illusions are by Paul Kieve, with lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Bobby Aitken, and projection design by Jon Driscoll.
The original Broadway production of Ghost The Musical is being produced for New York audiences by Colin Ingram Productions Limited and Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Adam Silberman, Donovan Mannato, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter in association with Paramount Pictures Corporation.
Ghost the Musical had its world premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre in London's West End on July 19, 2011.
Ghost The Musical plays eight performances per week at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre located at 205 West 46th Street. Previews began March 15, 2012, with an official Opening Night set for April 23, 2012. For tickets and information, please visit the show's website.