Before you ask--yes, it is based on the 1990 movie that starred Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze as Sam and Molly, a cohabiting couple in which the boyfriend (Sam) dies and then has to save her (Molly) from his murderer.
The stage version, with book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the movie's screenplay, and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (cowriter and producer of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill), premiered in England in 2011 and opened on Broadway in 2012.
The film of Ghost is still a cultural touchstone. You know, "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers, romantically messy pottery scene, "I love you", "Ditto", and a single, precious tear rolling down Demi Moore's perfect cheek.
|Mollie Fischer/Frank Moran|
Photo Credit: Old Log Theatre
Anyhoo, back to Ghost: The Musical. Directed by Eric Morris, and featuring a surprisingly racially diverse cast, the show was diverting and pleasant to watch. But similar to the movie, it's not a show that spoke to me. There simply isn't enough there there.
The musical seems to be relying on the audience's knowledge of the movie to shortcut the story. When Sam dies, it's hard to feel any emotion at Molly's loss, as the story focuses on Sam realizing he's still around as a ghost. The music, mostly forgettable, doesn't add any emotional resonance. Despite being well-acted by a cast of engaging performers, the actors were undercut by the lack of character.
|Caitlynn Daniels/Heather McElrath/Emily Janson/|
China Brickey. Photo credit: Old Log Theatre
That said, the Old Log is a lovely place to see a show, out in the woods of Excelsior, and the staff at the theater were completely wonderful. I hope to have the opportunity to see more substantial material there in the future, material that is more worthy of the skilled direction and acting.