Friday, September 16, 2011

If You Believe

Visiting London and deciding what to watch on West End while I am there is always a major dramatic decision in itself. I wanted to see a current show, preferably a musical. But I found, frankly, the choices lacking. It's in between seasons, and a lot of the newer shows have yet to open. So I went with seeing "Ghost The Musical," at The Picadilly. I have read not-too-bad reviews of it, although I was wary of it. Yet another musicalization of a hit film, I thought to myself. which is becoming too be almost as tiresome as the jukebox musical. But I liked the movie fine, so I had some hope. As it turns out, I thoroughly enjoyed "Ghost The Musical." Some call it a guilty pleasure, but I am not too guilty about liking it. The production mostly succeeds because of the leads: Richard Fleeshman and Cassie Levy.  As the too-perfect young lovers, they have sizzling chemistry, and they sing like matching tunas. (At times, though. I felt like I was watching the wrong Swayze movie adaptation, since Levy look like Jennifer Grey.) Too bad, some of the songs they sing, courtesy of Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (of Alanis Morissette and Wilson Phillips) are just bland pop songs.  But no matter, they infuse a lot of emotion and romance in them that I believed. Just like the tag line said, if you believe in love, you will believe in the show. Sharon D Clarke, playing Oda Mae Brown, is given the scenery-chewing role in here, and she has a great voice, but I felt like she was visiting from Sister Act The Musical, with her garish solo numbers, and it was very distracting. She even gets the 11:00 number, undeservedly so. But as I said before, I believe in love, and the love story here is the star of the show, and it's a powerful one. Listen to it like an unchained melody, and you will be rewarded. 

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