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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Broadway Alert: Ghost the Musical Starring Acting Sensation Bryce Pinkham at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Highly Recommended by Whom You Know- GHOST is a Total Must-See on Broadway! Our Coverage Sponsored by Paul Mayer Attitudes

The cast of GHOST

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When you experience anything in a second version, whether it be a book to a movie, a second version of a movie like we saw with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Bravo Rooney Mara, not just because your parents are Eagles), or a movie turned into a musical which is just the case with GHOST, you go into the second experience with certain expectations that will be met, not met or in the best case scenario, exceeded. Replicas carry the burden of being evaluated more critically than something original that has never been done before and the second act is rarely the better of the two. How often do we ever write on non-originals? To that end, it makes the high accolades we are giving GHOST on Broadway that much more relevant as Peachy loved the movie and saw it when it came out in 1990.

GHOST on Broadway totally exceeded our expectations and we believe it to be even better than the movie, and we believe your experience will be DITTO.
Here's why:
Sam, Carl and the ensemble deliver killer energy to the musical number "More" pictured above, and MORE is exactly what you're going to want when this highly acclaimed hit ends on your first visit, and luckily you can watch it over and over because there is no end horizon for GHOST, the latest and greatest on Broadway: It is the current omnipotent deity of the Great White Way. With only 20 posts ever on Whom You Know out of nearly 12,000, Broadway Alert is one of the smallest columns because Picky Peachy has to really be enamored of a production to publish on it. A lot of plays and musicals put her to sleep and leave her longing for a Rangers game, but GHOST on Broadway was just as riveting as an overtime save by King Henrik in overtime of game seven. The glamour that this cast gives to the Wall Street lifestyle is terrifically entertaining and has everything but the Bloomberg machine, says Peachy Deegan who ought to know after spending a decade on Wall Street herself. 
Of course, the central relationship in GHOST is that of Sam and Molly, and both actors in those roles execute perfectly what they are meant to do. It did take us a few minutes to get used to Molly being blonde though. We liked Sam's "Unchained Melody" via guitar early on, and Molly really stands out during her heartfelt rendition of the musical number "With You." They are each incredibly touching and find them to be true to the original movie, as we do most of the Broadway show. We'd like to know where Cafe Luigi's is as maybe we ought to review it! The City of New York is seemingly a character in itself, and we feel it is accurately portrayed. The graphics were a total winner throughout the entire production, and they were so great they even made the subway look attractive. (It never is in real life!) 
the central relationship in GHOST is that of Sam and Molly, 
if you really understand the world of high finance, you know that people that have the most coveted positions on Wall Street do not often have much of a personal life, and their relationships with their colleagues quite often trump all other relationships-so to that end, we find the character of Carl Bruner, played by our friend Bryce Pinkham: 
Bryce Pinkham has previously received high accolades for his work in Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson:
and he excelled on the Tony's:
Though good Catholics are taught that Ever to Excel is what should be pursued in life, in his portrayal as Carl Bruner, Bryce Pinkham shows how good it is to be bad! You are going to love to hate his character but be totally wowed by his flawless delivery as he goes from protagonist to antagonist and everywhere in between in fantastic character development that engages all actors around him. 
Right up until his dying moment, Pinkham as Bruner conveys a passionate performance of a complex character with unsurpassed vigor. 
Bryce even chose to star in a production that has nuns in it; Boston College-you should be proud. From Johnnie-O, started by the brother of fellow Boston College alum actor sensation Chris O'Donnell to Ghost on Broadway, this certainly is a fine week on Whom You Know for Eagle actors. Chris and Johnnie-go see Ghost; and Bryce- be sure to start sporting some Johnnie-O! 
Oda Mae, played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie, is a character that is as colorful in personality as she is in presentation. Whoopi absolutely killed the part in a good way and our initial feeling was -how could anyone compare- so, we were wondering what we would think of Da'Vine Joy Randolph. Would she measure up? Not only does she measure up, but we would be inclined to think that Whoopi herself would give Da'Vine a standing O. The powerful punch of personality and sheer energy she's got from earlier numbers culminating in our favorite by her: "I'm Outta Here" will make you want to get up on stage to sing and dance with her (though we restrained ourselves....). Her performance was second-best of the actors and we really liked her interaction with the nuns, who were devoutly hilarious. We'd say that even if Bryce went to Notre Dame. 
The hospital ghost also deserves a lot of applause-his valued perspectives and sunny attitude are a clearcut asset to this production. Also, the Subway Ghost has tremendous moves that we believe were even better than the one in the movie. Of course, when the movie was shot they can use all kinds of special effects in delivery, but when you are watching the Broadway show, you have to remember these actors are executing it all on the spot in real time which blows you away even more.  
The use of sound and light is simply the best we've ever seen, and as advances in technology evolve we imagine Broadway shows will only continue to galvanize audiences. We also liked the moving floor conveyor belt walking and dancing. Hats off to the choreographer-the dancing was amazing.  
Finally, the music itself is brilliant. You know our music column is small as well for the same discriminating reasons, and this has music that you'd want to listen to again and again, not only as part of the show.  
We have a lot of respect for every performer in this show, as it is so high-energy and invigorating to watch, it must be equally exhausting to perform multiple times a week with only one day dark. What is your secret energy source? You've really impressed us.

Our esteemed panelist adds: 

Ghost was always one of my all-time favorite movies, so when I heard it was going to become a musical, I was ecstatic! Though the musical was inspired by the movie, it has a brand new musical score. However the musical kept the Righteous Brothers hit song "Unchained Melody" which enjoyed a renewed popularity after the movie. Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy reprise their roles as Sam and Molly which they originated in London's hit West End production. Other leading roles included the talented Bryce Pinkham as Carl and Da'vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae Brown. The musical opened up on Broadway in April and continues to go strong!

The story starts with lovers Sam and Molly, who are attacked as they are returning to their apartment. When Sam dies he becomes caught between the real world and the next. Sam is unable to say he loves Molly until he is killed in what at first seems like a random mugging; he returns as a ghost and employs con artist psychic Oda Mae Brown to help him communicate with Molly and bring the killer to justice. The audience truly feels as if they are inside the story with the intricate scenic designs and special effects! The show has elaborate video imagery with large LED screens and other advanced technology which really helps the audience believe that there are two different worlds colliding with each other, being portrayed on stage. As much as I love the movie, the music really brought everything together so well! I really enjoyed it and thought the musical acts and staging of each scene were very strong. 

The performers are the primary reason to see this show. Richard Fleeshman, making his Broadway debut, and Caissie Levy, who’s been in Hairspray and Wicked don't miss a beat! Towards the beginning of the show, Fleeshman picks up a guitar to serenade Levy with “Unchained Melody,” which was certainly a highlight. The show becomes truly magical when the two of them have a ghostly duet with the help of Randolph as Oda Mae. Bryce Pinkham, has the thankless role of Carl Bruner, the evil best friend, and truly stands out in this role. Da'vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae steals the show during her solo numbers and the audience truly appreciated her character. 

The show felt like a roller coaster adventure! The acting and singing in the show is held to a high standard and is a treat to watch! Experiencing Ghost the Musical was lots of fun to watch and is a must see! 

Ghost the Musical is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know!!!
...and they received a standing ovation the night we saw it!


OPENED APRIL 23, 2012 



Book/Lyrics by Academy Award® Winner 


Music/Lyrics by Grammy Award® & Golden Globe® Winner 

DAVE STEWART (Eurythmics) & 

Music/Lyrics by Six-Time Grammy Award® Winner 


Directed by Tony Award® Winner 




CAISSIE LEVY as Molly Jensen 


BRYCE PINKHAM as Carl Bruner 

The supernatural power of love has arrived on Broadway as Ghost The Musical, adapted from the Academy Award winning film, opened on April 23, 2012 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street). Previews began on March 15th. 

This new musical is directed by Tony Award winner Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage, The Norman Conquests, Boeing-Boeing) and choreographed by Ashley Wallen (The X Factor, Kylie Minogue). Ghost The Musical is created by a team of Grammy and Academy Award winners, with a brand-new original score by Dave Stewart (half of the multi-Grammy Award winning Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson's Man In The Mirror, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill), with a book by Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost, Jacob’s Ladder, The Time Traveler’s Wife), who has adapted his Academy Award winning original screenplay for the stage. This brand new score also includes the iconic song “Unchained Melody,” famously performed in the film by The Righteous Brothers. 

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. 

The cast also features Tyler McGee, Lance Roberts, Michael Balderrama, Moya Angela, Jason Babinsky, James Brown III, Mike Cannon, Stephen Carrasco, Jeremy Davis, Sharona D’Ornellas, Josh Franklin, Albert Guerzon, Afra Hines, Carly Hughes, Karen Hyland, Alison Luff, Vasthy Mompoint, Jennifer Noble, Joe Aaron Reid, Constantine Rousouli, Jennifer Sanchez, Daniel J. Watts, and Jesse Wildman. 

Set in modern day New York City, Ghost The Musical is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Walking back to their apartment one night, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam murdered on a dark street. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and unable to leave Molly, who he learns is in grave danger. With the help of a phony storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving and protecting her. 

Set and costume designs are by Rob Howell, with musical supervision and arrangements by Christopher Nightingale, music direction by David Holcenberg, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Bobby Aitken, and projection design by Jon Driscoll. 

Ghost The Musical is being produced on Broadway by Colin Ingram Productions Limited and Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Adam Silberman, Donovan Mannato, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter, Patricia Lambrecht in association with Paramount Pictures Corporation. 

Tickets to Ghost The Musical may be purchased via or by calling 877-250-2929. Ticket prices range from $57 to $127 (including a $2 facility fee). Premium tickets are also available. The performance schedule during previews will be as follows: Monday – Saturday evenings at 8pm and Saturdays at 2pm. Beginning, Tuesday, April 24th, the performance schedule will be as follows: Mondays at 8pm, Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm. 

The Associated Press calls GHOST “Eye-poppingly brilliant” while Variety assures the audience will experience “A limitless array of dazzling effects.” The Faster Times cheers “GHOST is the future of theatre,” WOR Radio raves that GHOST is “One of the most adventurous and modern musicals I’ve ever seen – it blew me away!” Newsday promises that GHOST is “Unlike anything seen on stage before” and the Daily Telegraph assures that GHOST “Will keep you gasping!” 

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film in 1990, Ghost became a blockbuster hit and an instant classic, winning numerous awards worldwide. The film starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker. Bruce Joel Rubin’s script won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Whoopi Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of psychic Oda Mae Brown. 

Richard Fleeshman is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production. 

# # # 


RICHARD FLEESHMAN (Sam Wheat) originated the role of Sam in both the West End and world premier Manchester productions of Ghost The Musical. He first came to the public’s attention as a youngster, when he played Craig Harris in “Coronation Street.” Other television credits include: “Blue Murder,” “Monday Monday,” “Midsomer Murders,” Jimmy McGovern’s “Moving On,” and Kyle Caddick in Debbie Horsfield’s six-part drama series “All the Small Things.” Radio work includes: “When Twilight Falls” (Radio 4). Film: An Angel for May. After signing with Universal Records, Richard released his debut album and went on to complete three stadium tours supporting Sir Elton John around the UK and Europe. He has also collaborated with Sir Elton, writing and performing the soundtrack of All the Small Things. Last year, Richard made his West End debut playing Warner as part of the original cast of Legally Blonde (Savoy). Ghost will mark Richard’s Broadway debut. 

CAISSIE LEVY (Molly Jensen) Caissie originated the role of Molly in both the West End and world premier Manchester productions of Ghost The Musical. Most recently, she starred as Sheila in the 2009 Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Hair, reprising her role in the subsequent West End transfer. Other Broadway credits include: Elphaba in Wicked (Los Angeles, Broadway u/s); Penny Pingleton in Hairspray (Broadway, first national tour); and Maureen in Rent (national tour). In concert, she was a guest soloist for The United States Military Academy at West Point. Recordings include the original London cast album of Ghost The Musical and the Grammy Award nominated cast recording of Hair, from which her rendition of “Easy to be Hard” was named USA Today’s Pick of the Week.

BRYCE PINKHAM (Carl Bruner). Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Lincoln Center: Knickerbocker Holiday (with Kelli O’Hara, Victor Garber and the American Symphony Orchestra. Off-Broadway: Orphans’ Home Cycle (Signature Theater/Hartford Stage); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public Lab). Regional: A Funny Thing Happened..., Our Town, Beyond Therapy (Williamstown); A View From The Bridge (Guthrie Theater); All’s Well That Ends Well, Woman Of No Importance (Yale Rep); The Just, Much Ado About Nothing (Chautauqua Theatre Co.); Dublin Carol (Nora Theatre). TV: “God In America,” “The Good Wife.” Bryce is a proud collaborator with Theater of War, a program that performs Greek tragedy for American military audiences; his latest trips were to Guantanamo Bay and Japan. Awards: Oliver Thorndike Acting Award and Lotte Lenya Singing Scholarship. Education: M.F.A., Yale School of Drama; B.A., Boston College. 

DA’VINE JOY RANDOLPH (Oda Mae Brown) Da’Vine Joy Randolph, a Philadelphia native makes her Broadway debut in Ghost. She received her bachelor’s from Temple University in classical vocal performance and transitioned into acting by attending Yale School of Drama for her Masters. Other regional credits include Servant of Two Masters at Yale Repertory Theater and HAIR at Prince Music Theater. 


BRUCE JOEL RUBIN (Book & Lyrics) won an Academy Award for his original screenplay, Ghost. He has written numerous other screenplays including Jacob’s Ladder, Deep Impact, Stuart Little 2, The Last Mimzy and The Time Traveler’s Wife. He also wrote and directed My Life. Rubin graduated New York University in 1965 where he majored in motion picture production and direction. He was an assistant film editor at NBC news in the mid-sixties and hitch-hiked around the world in 1966-67. He was also Curator of Film at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York where he helped establish a program called The New American Filmmakers Series. In addition to his film career, Rubin has been a student and teacher of meditation for the past forty years. 

DAVE STEWART (Music & Lyrics). Described by Bob Dylan as "a fearless innovator," Dave Stewart has built a repertoire of remarkable songs that have been performed by some of the most influential musicians of our time. In 1999, Dave Stewart, along with his Eurythmics partner, Annie Lennox, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brit Awards after having sold over 75 million albums with hits like Here Comes The Rain Again, Who’s That Girl, Would I Lie To You, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves (with Aretha Franklin) and Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). Stewart was recently presented with the Legend in Songwriting award from the City of Hope, and has collaborated, both as a songwriter and producer, with several of today’s biggest stars in music. Stewart recently released Dave Stewart Songbook, Vol. 1, that includes his hits with Tom Petty (Don’t Come Around Here No More), No Doubt (Underneath It All), Mick Jagger (Old Habits Die Hard), which won a Golden Globe for Best Song in the film Alfie, and Celine Dion (Taking Chances). In his new capacity as Nokia’s Change Agent, Stewart is charged with leading the Artists Advisory Committee which ensures the artist’s point of view is represented in the “new world.” In conjunction with his company, Weapons of Mass Entertainment, Stewart is poised to rethink, reshape and reinvent music, film, television, books, theatre, new media and eventually the entire creative process. 

GLEN BALLARD (Music & Lyrics). Six-time Grammy award winner Glen Ballard is one of popular music’s most accomplished producers/songwriters and arrangers. He has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, and has worked with a diverse array of the finest singers and artists in the business, from Aretha Franklin to Van Halen and Aerosmith to Michael Jackson. One of Ballard’s biggest successes involved the chart-topping, multi platinum album Jagged Little Pill (33 million worldwide, four Grammys –including Album of the Year) which Ballard co-wrote and produced for Alanis Morissette, and was named Best Album of the Decade (1990s) by Billboard magazine. Ballard has most recently had success writing hit songs for film, including the Grammy winning and Oscar nominated “Believe” for Polar Express, “Ordinary Miracle” for Charlotte’s Web, and “A Hero Comes Home” for Beowulf. Ballard’s newest chapter of this vast musical legacy is his recent work in musicals. 

MATTHEW WARCHUS (Director). International theatre director Matthew Warchus’ many theatre credits include Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests for the Old Vic - which he also directed on Broadway, God of Carnage (Tony Award), Boeing-Boeing in the West End, on tour in the UK and on Broadway (where it won a Tony for Best Revival), Endgame at the Albery Theatre, the multi award-winning Art in London, on Broadway and in Los Angeles, True West for the Donmar Warehouse, The Winter’s Tale, The Unexpected Man and Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Buried Child, Life x 3 and Volpone for the National Theatre. In addition he has directed the following musicals - Tell Me on a Sunday, Our House (which won the Olivier Award for Best Musical), The Lord of the Rings in the West End and Follies on Broadway. His opera productions include Cosi Fan Tutte, Falstaff for English National Opera and Troilus and Cressida for Opera North. 

ASHLEY WALLEN (Choreographer). Ashley Wallen's credits as a choreographer include Dance X for BBC1 where he also appeared as a judge and mentor alongside Arlene Phillips, The X Factor and It's Now or Never both for ITV and Rent Remixed at the Duke of York's Theatre. Wallen has choreographed for many artists including Kylie Minogue, Dannii Minogue, James Morrison, Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Will Young, Lemar and Gabrielle Cilmi. His on screen dance credits include Moulin Rouge and The Phantom of the Opera and on stage he performed with Mariah Carey and Kylie Minogue. Wallen is currently working as Associate Choreographer on Madonna's film W.E due to be released in 2011. His recent choreography for Lipton's Ice Tea, featuring Hugh Jackman has become a huge hit on You Tube. 

PAUL KIEVE (Illusionist). Paul was magic consultant to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (in which he also appears) and taught magic to Daniel Radcliffe, who has written the introduction to Paul’s book Hocus Pocus, published by Bloomsbury in the UK, Scholastic in the USA and translated into a further 7 languages including Chinese. His live show based on the book has been seen at festivals including Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Literary Festival, and at The Purcell Room in London. Theatre work includes: National Theatre: Mrs Affleck, Her Naked Skin, The Seagull, Theatre Of Blood, The Night Season, La Grande Magia, The Cherry Orchard and Haroun and Sea of Stories. London (West End): The Lord of The Rings, Zorro, The Invisible Man (also Theatre Royal Stratford East), Our House, The Witches Of Eastwick, Scrooge, The Witches, and The Woman In White. RSC: The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Alice In Wonderland, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, The Mysteries and Spring Awakening. Young Vic: The Nativity, Arabian Nights and Grimm Tales. Others include: Angela Carter’s Cinderella, Peter Pan, A Singapore Carol (Singapore), Alice In Wonderland (English National Ballet), Aladdin (Scottish Ballet), four Holiday On Ice touring productions including current UK tour of Mystery and Carneskys Ghost Train. Work in opera includes Das Reingold in Strasbourg, Le Heure Espagnole at Covent Garden, Macbeth (Hamburg State Opera) and Parsifal (Paris Bastille). Work over the Atlantic includes Lord Of The Rings in Toronto, The Woman In White on Broadway, Scrooge national US tour and Earthsea for Sci Fi channel. He has worked with David Copperfield in Las Vegas, with Walt Disney Theatrical Productions and has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Television includes: I’d Do Anything, BBC History Of Magic, Derren Brown, Heroes Of Magic and Children In Need. He has tutored a diverse range of people in magic including Joan Rivers, Ronan Keating, Melanie C, Graham Norton and Simon Cowell. In 2005 he appeared in The Proms, accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic orchestra. As magic consultant to Guinness World Records he created magic spreads for the 2005 and 2006 books. He was the recipient of the 2006 British Magical Society Award for outstanding contribution to magic and is a Gold Star member of The Inner Magic Circle.

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