“Ghost: The Musical,” based on the popular film from 1990, and the first regional professional production in the region, is currently lighting up the stage at the Media Theatre through March 29.
With a book by Bruce Joel Rubin and music from the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart with assistance from Glen Ballard, the show focuses on Sam and Molly, two lovers who are attacked upon returning home one evening causing Sam’s death. An eccentric medium, Oda Mae Brown — played by Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg in the film and now Tamara Anderson in this production — does what she can to help Sam get back in touch with Molly from the afterlife.
According to Anderson, “Oda Mae is a charlatan. She believes others in her family have received ‘the gift,’ but somehow it missed her, so she does what she can to convince people she, too, can talk to the dead. And then, much to her surprise, it finally happens.”
When Oda Mae meets Sam as a ghost that only she can see, she finally agrees to help him get back together with Molly. Even as a ghost, who can talk through Oda Mae, he tries to protect Molly from any kind of harm coming her way. By the end of the script, Oda Mae is redeemed and becomes a different person who now really does have ‘the gift.’
Although Goldberg won an Oscar for her portrayal as Oda Mae, Anderson said she’s managed to make the role her own. “Although the character is bigger than life, I’m not imitating Goldberg. I play her my own way, in my own style, and I definitely think I’ve made her my own.
“I don’t find it difficult to relate to Oda Mae,” Anderson continued. “There’s an edginess to her mixed with a sense of humor that makes her memorable.”
Anderson, a singer, actor, writer and educator/activist, was a resident of Chicago until she moved to Philadelphia several years ago. Since deciding on a theatrical career, she has been featured in numerous plays and musicals in various regional theaters across the country. She’s also done improvisation with Second City, and appeared in film and TV.
This spring, Anderson will be seen in Tina Fey’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” HBO’s “Show Me a Hero” and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.”
She said she thoroughly enjoys all the roles she’s done. “There’s a joy that comes with all the human connections you make, especially on the stage, which is what brings me back every chance I get. There’s a certain kind of camaraderie you have with the actors you meet that sometimes develops into a real family feeling, particularly in this production.”
For times and ticket information call (610) 891-0100.