A night of melodies

A night of melodies

A heart can’t help but ache when it sees Patrick Swayze’s chiselled features lying lifeless on the pavement, covered in blood and in the arms of Molly Jensen, whose pain thunders through Demi Moore, in the 1990 romance ‘Ghost’. The movie was a love story for the ages and its iconic songs, characters and lines have lingered on with us through musicals and remakes. In what can easily be termed as yet another success for director Leila Alvares, a musical production of the classic love story was recently showcased at Chowdiah Memorial Hall.

Right from the scene in the loft, where Sam Wheat (Swayze) sensually caresses Molly as she moulds clay pots (one can’t help but get tingly here), to Oda Mae Brown’s seance parlour and the bank, the play, ‘Ghost — The Musical’, sent one reeling back in reverie. Rahael Thomas played young Swayze while Mana Santhanam was the ever-youthful Molly. And who could do a better job of Oda Mae than Priya Mendens? She captured Whoopi Goldberg in all her quirkiness and it wasn’t until her entry that the show sparkled at its best.

The role of Carl Bruner (played by Tony Goldwyn in the movie), the back-stabbing friend/psychopath with a conscience, was well portrayed by Karan Machado. In addition to these familiar faces, other Leila regulars were also seen — Prem Koshy as the street ghost, Shyju Varkey as Orlando, the ghost and Jerusha Verghese as Clara, the singer. The kids couldn’t help but add their contributions as Kieren Alvares Lynn played the bank receptionist and Kiera Alvares Ganapathy was Henrietta, the ghost.

The other musical ghost was Chiragh Prince, and the spirits/dancers were played by Alisha DSouza, Akshay Tiwari, Elexer Fernandes, Pooja Arjun, Lionel De Nazareth, Nilasha Rebello and Lucian Charanghat. With songs like ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘Here Right Now’, ‘I Had a Life’ and ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout a Miracle’, the music direction was done by Vivek Menzel and music coordination by Bryden Lewis. Originally written by Bruce Joel Rubin, the music and lyrics are by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.

Simple sets, easy-to carry props and delicate make-up were the cherry on the top. Leila, who is known for bringing plays like ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ to the City, managed to direct this mega-show well. Generally considered as a hard act to live up to, the cast and crew brought it all in together and paid a memorable tribute to Swayze, Moore and Goldberg. Presented by CAUSE Foundation, the proceeds of the funds raised will go to deserving charities.

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