I would like to invite you to play a game with me. It’s called Seven Questions. They will all relate to Ghost: The Musical (now in a for-profit, commercial run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre). I don’t particularly feel the need to talk about the show itself, since it adheres so closely to the film, and if someone reading this post hasn’t seen the film, I’m not sure what they would get or not get out of seeing the musical. So, assuming that anyone who might read this post has seen the film and is thinking about seeing the musical, I would like to begin the game by declaring which questions I am not going to ask. For example, I am not going to ask why you wrote this show (with Glen Ballard, and with additional songs by Bruce Joel Rubin). I am not going to ask what your involvement was with the staging of the show, which is the handiwork of director Matthew Warchus and various members of the Hogwarts faculty. I am not going to ask you why you felt Ghost, the 1990 film, would organically lend itself to a musical treatment. I am not going to ask you what your involvement was in terms of casting. I’m not going to ask you how it feels to have a show on Broadway. I’m not going to ask you if you’ve ever seen a ghost.
And now, the game:
Question 1: When you’re writing a song, do you think about character? Or are you the character? Did the process of writing songs for Ghost: The Musical suggest any new approaches to writing songs?
Question 2: Did it ever occur to you that there is a difference between ear-shattering over-amplification in a stadium or a concert hall and ear-shattering over-amplification in a Broadway theatre? If not, why not?
Question 3: How many times did you watch the film Ghost before you wrote material for the musical? How many times did you think you needed to?
Question 4: Did you ever have a moment when you thought, “Oh, I can write a better song than that.” If so, what did you do?
Question 5: What film would you like to musicalize more than anything on earth but find yourself too terrified to try?
Question 6: What is your favorite musical? What musical makes you absolutely retch?
Question 7: If you could have starred Annie Lennox in a musical on Broadway, original or otherwise, what would it be and what would be your advice to her?
There now. Wasn’t so bad, right? Wasn’t nearly as bad as I found, with all due respect, Ghost: The Musical. Any recitation of the plot, of the character, of the actors names, of any of the neat special effects in the show will all make it sound like there was a slight possibility of redemption. I’m so sorry. There really isn’t. I’m going to sign off now and listen to “Thorn In My Side.” Four hundred times. Until the ringing stops.