Review Roundup: GHOST THE MUSICAL Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!
Ghost the Musical, adapted from the Academy Award winning film, opened tonight, April 23, 2012 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy reprise their starring roles as Sam and Molly, which they originated in London’s hit West End production. They are joined by newcomer Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae Brown and Bryce Pinkham as Carl Bruner.
This new musical is directed by Tony Award winner Matthew Warchus and choreographed by Ashley Wallen. Ghost The Musical features a brand-new original score by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, with a book by Bruce Joel Rubin, who has adapted his Academy Award winning original screenplay for the stage.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: “Ghost,” with a book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin, who (unbelievably) won an Oscar for the movie’s screenplay; and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart (of the fab 1980s synth-pop duo the Eurythmics — say it ain’t so!) and Glen Ballard, may not be the very worst musical ever made from a movie. I might give that palm to either “Dirty Dancing” or “Fame,” neither of which has yet made it to Broadway. (Thank the theater gods for small blessings.) But it is just as flavorless and lacking in dramatic vitality as many that have come before.
Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press: Sam’s final, drawn-out goodbye ignited clapping for its visual beauty — going to heaven looks really, really cool even if the dialogue (”See ya” and “Bye”) is somewhat lacking. But there are some clear missteps, notably the character of the hospital ghost who greets the dead Sam right after his murder. The ghost, which has been reworked since London, still isn’t right, an odd combination of vaudeville and soul that doesn’t fit this shocking moment. Overall, it’s an ambitious, carefully orchestrated work that raises the bar on technological innovation. In London, “Ghost The Musical” has become a hit. How will a Broadway audience likely respond? Ditto.
Suzy Evans, Backstage: Though a technical glitch caused an unplanned 25-minute break at the performance I attended, I’m not going to get caught up in the details. The incident only illustrates exactly what is wrong with “Ghost”: It’s trying to be something it’s not. Warchus has turned a touching silver-screen love story into an overly flashy showbiz musical that betrays the intimacy of its source.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: Full confession: The 1990 movie Ghost is on my top 10 list of that decade’s more shameless pleasures. Demi Moore with the Pierrot haircut and artfully applied teardrops; poor Patrick Swayze with his single expression of intense concentration; Whoopi Goldberg at her ghetto-fabulous funniest. What’s not to love? Turns out plenty in this leaden stage musicalization of the supernatural romantic thriller, a flavorless hash that is unrelentingly loud, vulgar and stunningly tone-deaf to the ways in which the world has changed since that era of sweet young yuppie innocence.
Steven Suskin, Variety: Full of moving scenery, lights, projections, film and magical illusions, but devoid of actual magic, the Broadway production of "Ghost" is a lumbering megatuner with little to offer beyond a limitless array of dazzling effects. But while it's tempting to suggest the show hasn't a ghost of a chance, that assessment might not be warranted: The still-running London production successfully parried a dire critical reception last July, and audience response to the visuals and that familiar title might well attract enough Rialto customers to make a go of it.
Matt Windman, AM New York: 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.