‘Ghost the Musical’ blowing into Saenger

November Exhibits
October 31, 2013
Imagination guides Louisiana Renaissance Festival
October 31, 2013
November Exhibits
October 31, 2013
Imagination guides Louisiana Renaissance Festival
October 31, 2013

Brandon Curry did the sports thing – basketball, football and the rest. But he found his true calling onstage after his mother encouraged him to try out for a play in his hometown, Charlotte, N.C.

“I was 14 then, and have been in theatre ever since then,” Curry said.

Another open call, this time posted in New York City where he now lives, led him to his latest production as the subway ghost in “Ghost the Musical.” The play runs Nov. 19-24 at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.

The show is adapted from Bruce Joel Rubin’s 1990s movie “Ghost,” which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Academy Award based on her depiction of psychic Oda Mae Brown. The show also picked up an Oscar for best screenplay.

“Ghost the Musical” centers on Sam Wheat (Steven Grant Douglas) and Molly Jensen (Katie Postotnik). As the two are walking back to their apartment one night, Sam is mugged and killed on a dark street. He finds himself trapped as a ghost between this world and the next; unable to cross over after he learns Molly is in grave danger. With the help of Brown, a phony storefront psychic, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her.

After three weeks of rehearsal and 10 days of technical work, the touring show opened. “It’s all happened really fast,” Curry said in a phone interview during a stop in Providence, R.I.

The tour has provided Curry his first opportunity to tour the U.S. This month’s stop in New Orleans marks his first visit to the Big Easy

“I am so excited about getting to have a beignet,” he said. And it will provide a chance to reunite with family and friends he hasn’t seen in years.

“I love this show,” Curry said, describing it as a huge visual spectacular. For this inaugural tour, the cast has been whittled to 18 members, who roam the stage as LED screens project Sam and Molly’s loft apartment, a moving subway car or Oda Mae’s place.

“The illusions are fantastic,” Curry said. “There are so many show-stopping moments. Anytime there’s a death onstage, it is something to see. So many people ask us later, ‘How did you do that?’”

In his role, Curry said one of his favorite moments is breaking a glass cigarette machine in the subway. “Anytime you can break something onstage, it’s fun.”

Curry said audiences will take away something different when they encounter his character. “I totally believe that he is just like any other guy in his situation. When he didn’t cross over, he just retreated to the comforts of his solitude by going to the subway.

“There, he’s able to be loud and rude – kind of scary. It’s about desperation; he believes that is his space, only he belongs there.”

Like most children of the ‘80s, Curry recalls the release of Paramount Picture’s “Ghost.” He instantly fell in love with Whoopi Goldberg.

Playgoers, he said, can expect to see all the iconic moments – the pottery scene, Sam’s escape into the real world, the subway antics.

“They’re all still there,” Curry said. “We ask audiences to embrace the changes. Onstage, it is a different beast because you have to figure out different ways to do things that you can do in film. Audiences who are open to the show love it.

“It has such an upbeat message: that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel; sometimes literally.”

“Ghost the Musical” funds from Nov. 19-24 at Saenger Theater of New Orleans, 1111 Canal St. Tickets range from $37 to $101. For more information, visit www.neworleans.broadway.com.

– shell@gumboguide.com

Carla R. Stewart and the cast of “Ghost the Musical” perform. The musical features an original pop score from multiple Grammy Award winners Dave Stewart (one-half of the ’80s pop duo the Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (cowriter with Alanis Morisette on the multi-plantium album “Jagged Little Pill”).