Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Ghost' Musical Is Haunted by Big Problems

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Ghost' Musical Is Haunted by Big Problems

Article excerpt

GHOST

New Broadway musical, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Book by Bruce Joel Rubin. Music by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. Lyrics by Rubin, Stewart and Ballard. Directed by Matthew Warchus.

With Richard Fleeshman, Caissie Levy, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Bryce Pinkham.

Schedule: 8 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; 7 p.m. Tuesday; 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday.

Tickets: $57 to $137. Ticketmaster: 877-250-2929, or ticketmaster.com

The musical "Ghost," based faithfully on the hit 1990 movie, has the most romantic and reassuring of messages: We can stay connected to those we love even after death.

That notion doesn't get the chance to touch us, though, in a loud, rudderless, hyper-kinetic, drearily cast production - with bad songs - that opened Monday night at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Two young people, Sam (Richard Fleeshman) and Molly (Caissie Levy), are deeply in love. They seem to swim in the shallow end of the brain pool, but the story has him being a successful banker, while she's a sculptor.

In any case, a hoodlum holds up the couple on a Brooklyn street, shooting Sam dead after he refuses to hand over his wallet.

Except Sam's body instantly pops up. He is, we soon discover, in that ghostly halfway place so loved by plays and movies, where dead people linger so they can finish their earthly business.

Sam must protect Molly from his killer, who was hired to commit the robbery by someone very close to Sam.

Spoiler alert: The bad guy is his manipulative, money-laundering assistant (Bryce Pinkham), which is pretty easy to figure out because he's one of the few living characters with lines.

The conspiracy against our feeling something for Molly and Sam includes the cliched, dated book by Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the film script. (He thinks Brooklyn is still a laughably unfashionable place to reside.)

The leads are competent, but lacking in the personality department. …

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