BWW Reviews: The Spirit of GHOST Comes to Bass Hall
Since the beginning of February, commercials having been playing in the DFW area for the national tour of GHOST, with one performance being at Music Hall at Fair Park and the other at Ball Performance Hall. Well, DFW, if you didn't see the one in Dallas, you still have the chance to see it at Bass Hall.
The musical is a remake of the 1990s film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg. In both versions, while out one evening in New York, Sam and Molly are confronted by a mugger. After submitting to his demands, Sam is murdered anyway. He then finds himself a ghost, invisible to the living world. Soon he begins to learn his close friend and co-worker, Carl, was embezzling drug money, which caused his death. In the meantime, Carl has designs on Molly, and Sam is determined to extract revenge. He contacts a psychic, and together, the two set out to serve justice and stop the maniacal Carl from getting to Molly.
I was skeptical of this show from the beginning, back when it was still on Broadway, 'how could they pull off such beyond-life tricks without the audience seeing?'
Well, with two enormous 25-feet-wide LED screen that used six projectors to either enhance what the actors were trying to tell or distract so they could do something else on the without you seeing, and light show with 350 lights and 130 strobe lights so bright it blinded the audience so they couldn't see the tricks. Though, no matter how they did it, they pulled it off and it seemed like people were walking up into the air. It also helped to bring the set to life, instead of having a million different set pieces, they had a few and what they didn't have was digitally created through the LED screen.
While the technology was astounding and something not likely to be seen in any other musicals, at times it took away from the actors' performances, relying too much on the illusions when it could have been shown with their actions or said with their words.
Speaking of actors, Steven Grant Douglas (Sam) gives a very angst-y performance, he was mad and not only could you tell, you could feel it in the air. But I couldn't connect to him, his character was whiny and I felt no sympathy for him. In the opening night performance, Evette Marie White stepped in for whimsy psyshic Oda Mae Brown and provided the laughs in this dark and sad story, but at time rushed to get to the punch line not leaving our brains time to catch up. However, it was Katie Postotnik (Molly), who was the stand out of this performance, I could connect with and feel bad for her character, she just lost the love of her life at an age no one would expect, how do you move on from that. Not to mention Postotnik has a gorgeous singing that left me speechless and with goose bumps after "With You" and "Nothing Stops Another Day."
In fact, aside from the iconic track "Unchained Melody" by Hy Zarel and Alex North, Postotnik's solos were the only songs I could fully remember the next morning because they had to do with character development. While Oda Mae's fancy solo "I'm Outta Here" was fun, it was at such a pivotal part in the plot that it seemed out of place and brought the story to a halt.
While it has its issues, GHOST does have the chemistry and "wow" factor, so if you're a die-hard fan of all Broadway has to offer it is definitely worth seeing. And since it is playing during Valentine's Day, it could be a great, not to mention original, date.
GHOST is playing at Bass Performance Hall February 11-16. Student Rush Tickets will be sold for $20 one hour before the performance, Wednesday (2/12) and Sunday (2/16). Go to www.basshall.com to purchase tickets.