Theater Review: 'Ghost the Musical' -- 2 stars
Ghost the Musical
The pottery wheel has been carried over. Same goes for the hit song "Unchained Melody," which is sung countless times. But that hardly helps "Ghost the Musical," a faithful but unmoving and overblown adaptation of the 1990 Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore romantic fantasy that has become an iconic chick flick.
Although updated to the present day, the story is essentially the same. Banker Sam (Richard Fleeshman) and artist Molly (Caissie Levy) are enjoying a steamy and passionate romance until Sam is murdered during a botched robbery.
Now a ghost, Sam learns that the robbery was arranged by his co-worker Carl (Bryce Pinkham) as part of a money laundering scheme. In order to warn Molly that she is in danger, he must rely on Oda Mae Brown (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), a storefront psychic who can talk to Sam.
Director Matthew Warchus, who also staged the Broadway-bound musical "Matilda," uses massive LED screens to pack the stage with nonstop visual imagery.
In addition to depicting numerous New York spots, the screens are used to pull off the complicated supernatural moments, such as when Sam's soul departs his body.
Although the video projections are slick and impressive, they quickly become overwhelming, reducing the film's romantic intimacy into bloated and dizzying spectacle. Yet far more irritating is the rock score.
Randolph, who has a tremendous voice, lacks the comic idiosyncrasies that Whoopi Goldberg brought to the role, and Fleeshman and Levy look sexy but prove to be bland.
If you go: "Ghost the Musical" plays an open run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. 205 W. 46th St., ghostonbroadway.com.