I had vaguely remembered seeing the movie Ghost when I was growing up and recalled it being a good movie. I remembered Patrick Swazye and Whoopi Goldberg starring in the movie, and I had an idea of what it was about - although I had it a little backwards. When I knew I was going to see the musical I tried to explain the movie to my boyfriend and told him that the guy's wife dies. So I might have had it a little mixed up. The male character is the one who dies, and the two of them aren't married. and by the title, I'm not giving anything away - it is called Ghost after all - someone has to be dead.
Good thing we decided to watch the movie a few days before we saw the actual performance. The movie was great, I could see why it was the highest grossing film of 1990, the year it came out. The story line of the movie held your attention. It was romantic, funny, mysterious. There were plot twists. The only thing off was some of the graphics. Obviously being 2014, it was a little silly watching some of the ways the "supernatural" were shown. I'm sure this was fine in 1990.
Since I enjoyed the movie so much I was looking forward to the musical rendition. We arrived at the Straz Center with excitement about what we were about to see. I was wondering how they were going to achieve some of the effects of the deaths - the bodies being taken away to either what I would presume to be either heaven or hell. How were they going to show that Sam could walk through objects and people? Obviously there were going to be some interesting special effects and I was looking forward to seeing how these were pulled off.
And there were some interesting special effects. But in my opinion there were just TOO MANY special effects. During some parts of the show there was a screen with a depiction of NYC and taxis driving all around. It looked as if you were watching a short film. Then there were screens that had the stock tickers streaming in the background of dancers. Dancers that showed some real talent. Talent that I missed most of the time because my eyes were darting everywhere around the stage to see so much of what was going on. I missed the point of theater - seeing the dancers and the actors. I was too busy looking everywhere else around the stage. There was just too much to take in. There were even times when there were dancers on the screen behind the actual dancers. What was the point of that? Why do you need to see FAKE dancers? Why wouldn't you want the attention on the talent that was in front of you?
On the other hand, some of the effects were actually quite amazing. One of my favorite scenes was the subway scene. The effects they used to make it seem like there was a moving train rushing through the subway tunnel was amazing. And the train ghost was kicking the passengers items all around the train and they were flying around everywhere. THOSE were the type of special effects that would have been perfect to put into the show.
There were some other effects that I enjoyed as well. The way Sam was able to move through the door when he first figured out how to pass through it. I thought that was nicely done. And the scene where Oda Mae tells Sam he can use her body to dance with Molly and they transition the characters from Oda to Sam without the audience even noticing - that was nicely done. Also, the very last scene where Molly and Sam kiss before he leaves - the lighting cast upon them made them look just magical.
Another issue I had with the show is that the singing wasn't exactly great. I'm no musical expert and I don't pick up mistakes very often, so when I notice someone's voice cracking or some sounding very out of tune, it's probably pretty bad. The only characters I didn't see this problem with was Oda Mae and her two sisters. I loved Oda Mae's character and thought she brought quite some comic relief to the show. I enjoyed her scenes and thought they were the best acted. She brought life to the show (no pun intended).
Overall I wasn't really impressed. I don't think Ghost the musical did justice to the movie. The singing and acting could have been done better and the special effects, although some necessary and well done, took away from the talent that actually was on the stage.
For Ghost the Musical tour information click here
*As a member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I received two complimentary tickets for Ghost the musical in exchange for my review. The opinions shared are my own.