REVIEW — If I were to guess, I’d say nearly everyone has seen the movie version of “Ghost” starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. But the version currently being performed at Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company adds another layer to it: music, something which director Kyle Myrick said helps sell the story even more.
The story of New York banker Sam Wheat (played by Chance Steglich), and the love of his life, Molly Jensen (played alternately by McKenzie Morgan and Sammy Myrick), is a “story that transcends time, race, gender, economic status or a belief system in deity,” Kyle Myrick said in his director’s note in the “Ghost” program.
At the beginning of the story, Sam and Molly have just moved into their own apartment and have big dreams, but those dreams are shattered when Sam is murdered by a thug in a dark alley. Trapped as a ghost between this world and the next, Sam enlists the help of a phony storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown (played by Demyia A. Browning). Oda Mae is the only person who can hear Sam, and he hopes she can help him communicate with Molly to save her from someone who he thought was his friend.
While all members of the cast are believable in their roles, there was one standout for me – Browning’s Oda Mae with her no-nonsense sassiness.
As usual, Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company makes the most of its staging, with hurried yet seamless set changes from its cast and crew. This time around it utilizes a projector to add more depth to its stage, with images of an apartment building, stock exchange, subway, cityscape and others.
In his director’s note, Kyle Myrick said the story offers some good reminders for audience members to carry with them beyond the performance.
“My wish for all of those who see this production is that they come away with a sense of love and appreciation for all that they are blessed with in their lives,” Myrick said. “We all have so much to be grateful for, but as we hustle through life, we sometimes forget to be simply grateful for what is truly important to us.”
Myrick said theater-goers can learn from Sam, who sings, “I had a life. I had it all. And from such a height it’s so far to fall.”
“Please hug your loved ones tighter,” Myrick noted. “Smile at a passing stranger. Say thank you. Get off your cell phones. Stop rushing. Try to remember in a small way every day that everything could be over in the blink of an eye.”
“Ghost: The Musical” will play at the Hurricane Fine Arts Building auditorium until Oct. 28. The production might not be the best for young children with some of its mature language, adult themes and violence, but overall, the musical will make for an entertaining evening.
Performances are Monday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets are $10 each. For more information, visit the Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company website or call 435-668-9753.
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