I was invited this week to The Ghost Light Sessions, a cocktail hour and presentation at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre designed to give critics a sneak peek at Ghost: The Musical, which begins previews March 15 and opens April 23. I wasn't exactly champing at the bit to see it—I've never even felt the urge to see the movie! (I was in college, so I spent my money on things like the University of Chicago's Hitchcock retrospective.) But from what I saw, it looks like this production will be haunting that venue for a long time to come.
I was in the front mezzanine, and watched as the musical's collaborators—Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, Glen Ballard, the movie's Oscar-winning writer Bruce Joel Rubin, director Matthew Warchus—took turns talking about how they conjured up this creation. They seemed dead serious that this is not a cheesy Broadway version of the cheesy movie; rather, it's its own entity. They did all seem to have entered into this in the right spirit.
The highlight was seeing most of the cast perform a bit. Richard Fleeshman, a soap and singing star (he opened for Elton John—hopefully not in that way!) from the U.K., is absolutely adorable and has presence, though his vocals were a bit ethereal, at least that night. He has great chemistry with Caissie Levy, who's got pipes to spare and reminded me of a young Bette Midler singing "With You." In the famous Whoopi Goldberg role ("You in danger, girl!") is Da'Vine Joy Randolph. I found the song she sang a bit pat ("I'm Outta Here") but there's no denying her voice and star quality.
The Q&A after (the audience didn't get to participate, saving me from having to shout from the rafters) was entertaining, especially when Da'Vine spoke of getting the part and having no passport, a requirement in order to open the show in London this past July. The show's bad guy, dashing Bryce Pinkham, did a good job of convincing everyone that he's not typecast as the dude who kills not only a beautiful guy but the earthbound portion of a beautiful, blossoming love.
Check out the videos and see what you think. And if you're interested, Ghost: The Musical is doing innovative Facebook sessions on January 24—click here for more info.
Bonus shots of the hottie: