As a blogger, I normally go home after a show and write a review. I couldn’t do such last night. I was so in awe of what I’d just witnessed on the Derry stage.
It was 1990 and one of the greatest romantic fantasy films was released. I was just out of my teenage years and I was in love. One of the greatest love stories and some of the greatest actors and actresses ever. A musical could never beat the film. Never until now. Ghost the Musical has left Ghost the film miles behind.
What an opening night it was at Millennium Forum in Derry last night? I, and my companion were totally blown away from that first curtain went up. We followed the love and the loss of Sam (Niall Sheehy) and Molly (Rebekah Lowings) as the heartfelt story grew even more iconic right here in 2019.
This musical production brought some of the finest choreography I’ve ever seen to the Derry stage last night. This was not about just the lead roles, this was about every member of Ghost the Musical cast. They all brought sparkle to that stage. Every single cast member shone with their every move.
Walking back to their apartment late one night, a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his beloved girlfriend Molly alone, in despair and utterly lost. But with the help of Oda Mae Brown, a phony storefront psychic, Sam, trapped between this world and the next, tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger….
The musical follows much the same pattern/story of the film and it’s simply wondrous how the present world, the in-between world and indeed the afterword, are all captured right there on the stage. It takes on a whole new life of its own from the very beginning. Many musicals take time to enrapture you (if at all), but this one had us hooked from the very onset last night.
The classic scenes are all portrayed right there in front of the audience. Sam and Molly on the ‘pottery wheel’, Sams death, Sams departure in the end. But one scene that stood alone last night was very definitely when we first meet the subway ghost, played by Lovonne Richards. This scene is simply spectacular on stage. Choreographed to perfection. The actors use of slow-motion and the dramatic sounds, gave this scene iconic status for me last night.
There was also a lot of humour with the character of Oda Mae Brown (the psychic), played by Jacqui Dubois. She never faltered in giving us reason to laugh amidst the utter sadness we continually felt for Molly and Sam.
The singing was faultless throughout the production and the classic Unchained Melody, challenging for any vocalist, yet reaching the highest note and receiving deserved applause last night.
Rebekah and Niall had fantastic chemistry from the beginning. We really were feeling the love, loss and utter sadness, and yes there was many a tear shed last night in Derry’s Millennium Forum. Having a touch of flu, my sniffles were rather endless throughout the show so the tears running down my face were not totally flu symptoms. I don’t recall crying at the movie. But I did at the musical. This pulls the heart-strings even more.
One couldn’t help but both love and hate Carl (Sergio Pasquariello). His performance however, equaled that of every other cast member. Outstanding and faultless.
The stage setting of Ghost the Musical, the music, the choreography, the acting, the singing, the dramatic effects, the lighting, the ghostly atmosphere and sounds were just of the highest caliber.
As an avid musical lover and huge Ghost fan, this show exceeded all my expectations. Evita has got to be my all time favourite stage production. I never thought a romantic fantasy could beat the historic story of Eva Peron. Ghost the Musical did just that last night.
The ending of this production allowed us to really believe we were indeed watching an iconic and unforgettable show. We were. This is one not to be forgotten for a long time. It’s delivery, it’s production, it’s writing and it’s everything left a very positive and lasting impression with me. I genuinely don’t think musical theater could get any better.
Had I been at London’s West-end or indeed New York’s Broadway, I couldn’t have been more impressed. But I was in Derry, and this was world class entertainment.
If you want to see the show of the century, then get to Millennium Forum this week before the greatest show to have donned its stage does leave. Ghost the Musical does not disappoint at any turn.