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posted: 1/17/2014 4:20 PM

Short and Sweet critic Lauren Dennhardt reviews Ghost the Musical, hosted by Diana Martinez

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  • Video: Short and Sweet review: Ghost

 
Provided by Broadway in Chicago; Video produced by Tribeca Flashpoint Film Academy

Short and Sweet Critic for the day, Laura Dennhardt of Buffalo Grove, discusses her reaction to Broadway in Chicago's Ghost the Musical with Diana Martinez. Dennhardt, a librarian and drama instructor at Fremd High School, draws upon her experience working backstage on Fremd's theater productions to give a qualified critique of the show's technical aspects. According to Dennhardt, the "magical illusion of the ghosts" was "amazing."

See below for a professional review from Diana Martinez.

By Diana Martinez

Yes, Ghost is even better on stage.

I'll admit I felt a bit leery heading into the stage adaptation of Ghost, which happens to be one of my all time favorite movies. But after seeing the show, now playing through January 19 at the Oriental Theatre, I can honestly tell you that the production team, which includes Academy Award-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, couldn't have done a better job recreating this timeless story about the power of love for the stage.

My guest critic for the evening was Daily Herald reader, Lauren Dennhardt of Buffalo Grove, who is a librarian and drama instructor at Fremd High School in Palatine. We both thoroughly enjoyed Ghost the Musical, which tells story of Sam and Molly, a young couple whose romance is cut tragically short after Sam's death. Sam's spirit gets caught between the worlds of the living and the dead after he realizes his death was not the result of a New York City mugging gone wrong and that a calculated plot has put Molly in danger. From there the plot spins into a roller coaster ride of suspense, comedy, and drama, all intensified by special never seen in a stage musical before.

The use of video in the show is absolutely stunning and powerful, and the creative team has integrated it perfectly, so that is not just a backdrop or an effect. It is woven into the choreography seamlessly, and adds so much in terms of dynamics and effect. In particular, the effects in the "Get off my train" scene were absolutely entrancing.

As I was leaving the theatre, I began talking with a woman, who turned out to be a guest of one of the producers. I asked him about the special magical effects in the show and he shared with me, that they had hired Paul Kieve, an award-winning illusionist who has worked with David Copperfield and on Hollywood films such as the Harry Potter series. That explains why you could hear the audience gasp as Sam's spirit ascended out of his body, or when he enacted his powers for the first time and walked through the door in front of our eyes.

The effects may be amazing, but the love story and acting are what keep you hooked during Ghost the Musical. The story is as powerful as ever thanks to the strong connection and passionate chemistry between Steven Douglas and Katie Postotnik, the actors playing Sam and Molly. Carla Stewart who plays the funny psychic, Oda Mae, is responsible for the show's fantastic comic moments.

If you're looking for a way to beat the winter blues, I can't think of a better way than reliving the iconic and magical moments from this touching fantasy that remains as relevant and powerful as ever.

Ghost the Musical runs 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission and is now playing through January 19 at the Oriental Theatre. For more information visit www.broadwayinchicago.com.

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