Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Coming soon — Ghost: The Musical

Another musical coming in 2013.

Ghost: The Musical

Following its current season in London's West End, and recent season on Broadway, 'Ghost' has been announced to come to Melbourne in August 2013. This stage production is, of course, based on the 1990 super-weepie film, starring the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore (when she still looked like Demi Moore) and the redoubtable Whoopi Goldberg. Apparently, like most big musicals of the last decade, it has dazzling special effects to spare. These will no doubt be used to good effect for the supernatural activities of the lead male character, 'Sam'.

'Ghost' features songs and lyrics by well-respected English muso, Dave Stewart. For those of you who grew up in the 80s and 90's, you would be familiar with his extensive body of work in the 'Eurythmics' with the charismatic Annie Lennox. The other creative forces on this show include legendary songwriter and musical producer, Glen Ballard, and Bruce Joel Rubin, who has adapted the screenplay which won him an Oscar. (The other Oscar for the film went to Whoopi for 'Best Supporting Actress', for her memorable turn as a psychic.)

I haven't given the London cast recording a thorough listening yet (my bad, people; I know, my bad) so I can't yet recommend any songs from this show. I've heard snippets from the score, though, and it is indeed promising. The über-ballad 'Unchained Melody' — the revived 'The Righteous Brothers' hit from the movie, featured to great effect during the notoriously romantic 'clay' scene — has been interpolated into the new score, so there's your hook song straight up.

Sadly, 'Ghost' has recently posted October closing notices for its London production. The New York production, despite being nominated for three Tony awards earlier in the year, closed scant weeks ago. The West End version will have run for a respectable sixteen months, with the apparently re-tooled Broadway production barely managing a five-month run. That said, the show is touted for a North American national tour in the new year, so it looks like this show may yet have some longevity to it. No definite word, though, as to whether the forthcoming Australian production will be affected by the shuttering of the original and American remounts, although rumours of deferment persist.

According to chatter on the boards, a number of non-English speaking productions of 'Ghost' are also planned worldwide. I would think that, amongst a number of other locales being bandied about, Germany would be ripe for the picking there. For those who aren't aware, many of the larger British and American musicals have enjoyed great success in translation there over the last decade.

Stayed tuned for casting details for 'Ghost'. Hopefully, we'll have an even balance of some new theatrical blood and some industry stalwarts. And I'm suggesting that we should all bring some tissues to this production. Actually, you may want those tissues handy now. The show to succeed 'Ghost' in its current London theatre is a new musical helmed by the talented Jennifer Saunders of 'French and Saunders': a 'Spice Girls' musical called 'Viva Forever' ...

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