There’s a tradition in the theater that when a show is not playing, you leave a ghost light on to ward off old specters.
Last night, at the kickoff event for Ghost The Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, the cast broke with tradition and turned the light off, symbolically welcoming old spirits into the theater. That they are pro-supernatural should come as no surprise, as Ghost is based off the Academy Award-winning film of the same name about tragically murdered Sam, who becomes a ghost and attempts to warn Molly of grave danger through a psychic, Oda Mae Brown.
The show will make its Broadway debut in March, after playing to rave reviews in London for the past year (the show apparently has some killer special effects!). Last night’s event also reunited original London stars Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy, who will reprise their roles of Sam and Molly on the Great White Way. The excitement of the nine cast members and nine orchestra members that were at the preview to share songs and stories with a very excited crowd was palpable.
For those that are skeptical of movie-to-musical projects (I’m looking at you, Bring It On), Nick Scandalios,the executive vice president of the Nederlander Organization (which owns the theater) was right there with you. He told the audience how concerned he was before viewing the show in London, but he assured everyone that fans would eat it up. “Let me just tell you, the pottery scene works,” he proclaimed to loud applause.
The director, Tony winner Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage), shared his original apprehension about messing with such a classic story. “The story of Ghost is a romantic, passionate story that means something. It has something to say about overcoming things, dealing with death. Something we all think about.”
Original screenplay author Bruce Joel Rubin (who also wrote the book and lyrics for the musical) agreed but promised the crowd that the emotional arc, the feelings people related to, stayed in tact. “This show will make you feel,” Rubin promised.
The preview event featured four musical performances: The song “Here Right Now,” the ballad “With You” the heartbreaking “Rain/Hold On” and, my personal favorite, the showstopping “I’m Outta Here.” The songs I heard were fantastic and catchy, which should come as no surprise, as the musical team is Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard — the duo know their way around a hit tune.
Watch the Broadway preview, featuring footage from the London show, below:
Intrigued? Great news: Highlights from last night’s event will be broadcast on Facebook on Tuesday, Jan. 24. You can get more info on the Facebook page.
Will you check it out? Since this does seem to be a trend, what movies would you love to see a musical interpretation of? Which ones should be left alone?