Friday, October 14, 2016

review -GHOST, THE MUSICAL - Brelby Theatre Company

David Samson and Taylor Moskowitz Gratil
photo: Shelby Maticic

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 15th.

"The recent Broadway show Ghost the Musical didn't last very long...while it is not the worst musical I've ever seen, it is far from the best. Brelby Theatre Company is presenting the Arizona premiere of the show and director Shelby Maticic and a decent cast do their best to make the most of the material. But with a lackluster score and a bare bones production it doesn't make much of an impression....I have several problems with Ghost the Musical, the first being that most of the musical numbers are all very similar. They also add very little to the show and at sometimes seem to just go on forever. There is also a large number of ballad-heavy songs, which unfortunately instills a repetitive somber tone, bringing a sense of boredom to many's a shame the score isn't better. Bruce Joel Rubin's book (from his own screenplay) doesn't add anything new to the film plot.  Shelby Maticic does a good job trying to make the most of the show. The small Brelby space works well for the more intimate elements of the story and Maticic does good work with her cast to help the personal nature of the story shine through. But a small budget can't do much for the required ghostly special effects...Brian Maticic's set design is good and works well in the small space...David Samson is Sam and Taylor Moskowitz Gratil is Molly. They both are fine singers and realistically appear to be in love. Samson does well in showing the confusion Sam feels once he realizes he is dead, as well as the urgency he exhibits to save Molly once he knows she is in danger. As Molly, Taylor Moskowitz Gratil has the unfortunate task of portraying one emotion—grief—for about 90% of the show, which makes her portrayal come across somewhat one dimensional. I've seen both Samson and Gratil in other shows in the Valley and know they are both fine actors and singers. It's just unfortunate they don't have better material here to show what they are capable of. ...Anne-Lise Koyabe who plays Brown is the best thing in the show. Rubin's adaptation gives Brown the best lines and, just like Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar for playing the part in the film version, Koyabe delivers them in spades....There have been many musicals adapted from hit movies some of which were good and some of which were not. For one based on such a hugely successful movie and with a book by the original film's screenwriter and a musical score by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame it's just too bad that the end result of Ghost the Musical isn't as good as it could be.... " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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