BWW Reviews: GHOST Shines Some Light on Cincinnati
Ghost was one of the most advanced productions I have ever seen because of the lighting design, magic tricks and the use of digital images. This production showed what I believe is going to be Broadway within the next 10 years. Technology is in every aspect of our lives now so it's no surprise that a musical production is fully embracing what it can do. The production itself should be enough to put people in the audience but unfortunately the book, choreography, and story are huge weaknesses.
Let's start with the positive, as I stated the lighting design, staging and illusions were out of this world and had the audience asking multiple times, "How did they do that?" The entire production crew had to be exhausted with all they had to do and they did it flawlessly. There was never a time where Sam was not lit with a blue light or a new set didn't appear at the exact right moment. So all around a huge thumbs up to the crew.
The main cast was also pretty good. Steven Grant Douglas was convincing as Sam and sounded great. The only issue is that he yelled too much, even when he figured out that no living person could hear him. It's inevitable to mention the hit movie Ghost and what Patrick Swayze did so well was display panic in his voice without yelling. That would have worked much better for Douglas because at times it felt like he overacted the most dramatic moments. A soft, panicked voice while also showing panic in his movements and body language would have best suited the role. Katie Postotnik as Molly had the best voice and overall was the standout of the cast. She made me laugh when I was suppose to and cry when I was suppose to. Carla R. Stewart as Oda Mae was the exact comic relief the show needed and one moment in particular made me like her even more: she had a wardrobe malfunction with her hat in a scene and completely handled it like a professional. Robby Haltiwanger as Carl was good but did not pop as well as the others did. He sometimes would over dramatize a scene and had multiple mic/sound issues (which were probably not his fault).
This sound isSue Brings me to the not so positive moments of this production. There was a consistent problem with the sound during the whole show. The band was way too loud, some might refer to it as deafening. It was very difficult to hear the cast while they were singing because the music over powered them. Mixing between the cast was also a problem. I could clearly hear one actor but barely hear the other if they were singing at the same time; and if the ensemble was singing at the same time as a main cast member, the ensemble could be heard but not the soloist.
The biggest problem with this show is not a fault of the touring cast but the show's book. The story had flow problems and the songs did not seamlessly intertwine with the book. The choreography was weird. It often happened at random times where dancing really was not needed.
Overall, I suggest seeing this show because it will provide you with your first taste of where Broadway is heading in regards to lighting design and the use of technology. However just be aware that the show has it's issues.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus