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Great voices and staging but uninspired acting and unmemorable songs make this production a mixed bag.

Theatre Review (Singapore): ‘Ghost the Musical’

Base Entertainment presented Ghost the Musical at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre, from November 4-15, 2015.

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Ghost the Musical is the musical adaptation of the 1990 Oscar-nominated and sleeper hit movie Ghost. Both versions tell the tale of Sam (Liam Doyle) who lives with his lover Molly (Lucie Jones) but can’t seem to tell her the three words “I love you.” Sam is killed, and the audience follows him as he discovers that his death was planned as a murder by someone he least suspected. With the help of medium Oda Mae Brown (Wendy Mae Brown – yes, it’s her name) and other ghosts, Sam must find a way to warn Molly about what he’s found out.

This musical version unfortunately pales compared to the film, as the acting of Demi Moore who played Molly, Patrick Swayze who took the role of Sam, and Whoopi Goldberg who portrayed Oda Mae was flawless and enticing (Goldberg won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). In this production, the actors Jones, Doyle and Brown were not convincing or natural enough. Not that they were bad, but in comparison to the three thespians in the film version who really embodied their roles fully, the musical actors seemed to just be playing their parts.

The music and lyrics were also unmemorable as the tunes were not catchy and you’d be pressed to remember the melody of any of the songs once you left the theatre.

Having said that, Jones, Doyle, and Brown – along with David Roberts who plays Sam’s best friend Carl – certainly have very powerful singing voices that produced crystal-clear notes in perfect pitch. It was just a pity their voices were not utilized in better songs.

The big highlight of this musical were the illusions and tricks used to create some of the more ‘how’d they do that?’ supernatural moments. It isn’t a small matter attempting to portray ghosts that can zip in and out of moving trains or strangle people – the movie of course did it with computer effects – so kudos to the production for installing these impressive tricks organically within the plot.

Another highlight was the very cleverly designed set, which was able to show Sam and Molly’s apartment and yet change to convey a dark street and later Carl’s office.

All in all, Ghost the Musical doesn’t tick all the boxes to be a superb production, but what it does tick, it does very well indeed.

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.

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