East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance will open its spring musical “Ghost: The Musical” tomorrow night at 7:30 in McGinnis Auditorium.
The show is based on the 1990 movie starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, and according to the show’s director Michael Tahaney, it follows pretty closely to the version that we all remember because the same person who wrote the screenplay adapted it into the musical.
However, not everything from the movie will be able to be replicated on stage, namely location changes and the incarnation of ghosts and demons.
“There are some things you can do with special effects in a film that you just can’t do on stage,” Tahaney said. “We are dealing with flesh and blood people and real pieces of furniture that can’t just be vaporized.”
Tahaney said they have come up with some workarounds for those limitations, the most prominent one being the skilled acting of the cast. He also said that the cast is not the only talented ones involved in the production.
Jordan Martin, junior musical theatre major, is the musical director for the show. Tahaney said that not only has Martin worked with the cast on their vocals but that he will also be conducting the pit orchestra during the show. He said that this is the first time they have had a student filling this role.
While the movie special effects may be the most challenging aspect of the show altogether, Karley Kornegay, senior musical theatre major, who plays the female lead, Molly, said that the most challenging part for her will be keeping up with the yo-yoing emotions of her character.
“Molly, yeah, she’s a challenge because it is very vocally demanding as well as emotionally demanding,” Kornegay said. “I spend the majority of this show grieving heavily and putting yourself in those shoes sometimes it can be a little tough to pull yourself out.”
Kornegay said that audiences can expect this kind of intensity throughout the whole show. She said that people can expect to be moved, to laugh, cry, and think about what comes after, if something like this possible or if there are ghosts around us.
On top of this show being filled with emotion, according to sophomore musical theatre major, Keagan Kermode, it is done in a way that is very different from more traditional musicals.
“This show is unlike any of the other shows of the season. The show is very modern and we use rock, folk and rap music to tell our story. We also have fantastic set and tech designers who are ready to give the audience a spectacle,” Kermode said.
Nazmokeem Harvey, sophomore theatre arts major, who will be playing Oda Mae in the show, said that it is this non-traditional character of the show that makes it good for audiences of all levels of experience with theatre.
“The music has very much like pop-rock themes, and gospel themes, and some like different elements that aren’t traditionally found in the traditional musical theatre. So it is like a great stepping stone for people who are interested but are kind of hesitant to like watch a live show,” Harvey said.
The show will run from Feb. 19 through Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 23. Tickets are $17.50 for general admission and $10 for students and are available for purchase at the School of Theatre and Dance’s website.