Posted in adapted from an Academy Award winning film, dance, drama, from the movie Ghost, multi-media, musical, musical theater, romance, singing

"Ghost…" Haunts A Broadway Stage

Who knew blockbuster was spelled G_h_o_s_t?

Caissie Levy as Molly Jensen and cast in “Ghost the Musical.” Photo © Joan Marcus.

Bruce Joel Rubin (book & lyrics) has adapted his Academy Award winning film into “Ghost the Musical,” in the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre for what may prove to be a very long run. (See videos from the show at www.ghostonbroadway.com.)

Caissie Levy as Molly Jensen, Richard Fleeshman as Sam Wheat and Bryce Pinkham as Carl Bruner in “Ghost the Musical.” Photo © Joan Marcus.

“Ghost the Musical” merges the cinematic with the dramatic into a spectacular spindrift of song, dance and romance. Matthew Warchus helms a musical play with many moving parts all of which contribute to the atmosphere of other-worldly excitement. The visual tricks (Illusions by Paul Kieve and Video & Projections by Jon Driscoll in a prodcution designed by Rob Howell) will convince the greatest cynic that there are ghosts among us. Ashley Wallen’s dynamic choreography, with additional movement sequences by Liam Steel keep up the pace and tension in “Ghost the Musical” even for those of us who have seen the iconic movie.

Da”Vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae Brown, Richard Fleeshman as Sam Wheat and Jeremy Davis as a Bank Officer in “Ghost the Musical.” Photo © Joan Marcus.

Like the movie’s plot, “Ghost the Musical” is a simple romantic fantasy. After he is murdered in what looks like a street robbery gone bad, Sam Wheat (Richard Fleeshman) can find no peace until he makes an honest psychic out of the con woman Oda Mae Brown (Da’Vine Joy Randolph). In “Ghost the Musical,” Sam comes to rely on Oda Mae to keep his girlfriend, Molly Jensen (Caissie Levy) out of harm’s way and to avenge his untimely death.
Whoopi Goldberg’s fans won’t be disappointed in Randolph’s sassy Oda Mae, who turns out to have a gift for leading souls to their rest. Randolph is a triple threat star, acting, singing and dancing; her Oda Mae has swagger and vulnerability as she reluctantly befriends Sam’s ghost.

Da”Vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae Brown and cast in “Ghost the Musical.” Photo © Joan Marcus.

Fleeshman develops his character well showing first Sam’s bewilderment at what has happened to him, and then his tenacity at making things right. Carl Bruner (Bryce Pinkham), Sam’s colleague who hits on Molly a little too soon, is swarmy and appropriately a little creepy. Levy and Fleeshman are pretty to watch adding the heat to this love story.

Caissie Levy as Molly Jensen and Richard Fleeshman as Sam Wheat at the pottery wheel in “Ghost the Musical.” Photo © Joan Marcus.

Even the technical glitch that held up the conclusion in act two at the preview performance this reviewer attended kept everyone in their seats. It was taken as a time to talk amongst ourselves and wait patiently.
Please visit www.ghostonbroadway.com for tickets and to learn more about the show.

Posted in clowning, mime, multi-media

The Best of Edinburgh brings us "LEO"

Can something be both claustrophobic and celebratory?

A man, a hat, and a suitcase shown live in a very small box-like room on stage and again on a screen so that the effect is a split set, are the makings of “LEO,” created by Circle of Eleven based on an idea and performed by Tobias Wegner.

“LEO,” is the wordless theater piece The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation presents at the Clurman on Theatre Row through February 5th, as The Best of Edinburgh.

Tobias Wegner performs in “LEO,” created by Circle of Eleven Photo © Heiko Kalmbach

“LEO” offers a riff on Fred Astaire, Houdini and Laurel and Hardy.

On the screen, the lounging character, is standing against a wall in his tiny room. In “LEO” the hero, whether upright or supine, literally climbs the walls, uses strength and agility to adapt to his surroundings, and ingenuity to ultimately escape.

Tobias Wegner performs in “LEO,” created by Circle of Eleven Photo © Andy Phillipson / livewireimage

The concept– by Wegner–, design– set and lighting by Flavia Hevia and video by Heiko Kalmbach– are cleverly executed with whimsy and wit.

“LEO” relies on the diverse cultural sensibility for Sinatra tunes and cartoons for its humor and charm. If it were a tad shorter it would be perfect.

Photo © Andy Phillipson / livewireimage

See a video of “LEO” at circleofeleven.de

Photo © Heiko Kalmbach

For a schedule of performances, please visit theatrerow.org