GHOST THE MUSICAL School Edition is a slightly reworked version of the National Tour script. The School Edition has been carefully edited, with additional director’s notes throughout, to make the show more producible for high school groups. In some cases problematic language has been changed, while in others an alternate choice is offered at the discretion of the director.
Adapted from the hit film by its Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Bruce Joel Rubin, GHOST THE MUSICAL follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam’s untimely death. Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death. Elements of comedy, suspense, and deeply felt emotion blend to an ethereal climax that audiences will never forget.
Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen are deeply in love. Their history together is full of happy memories, vacations, photographs and now a newly shared apartment in Brooklyn – they can’t afford Manhattan! Sam is a high-powered banker who has control of numerous accounts and millions and millions of dollars. He works with Carl Bruner, a good friend who comes round to the apartment and shares take-aways and beers with Sam and Molly. Molly is an artist, often working from home, hence the need for the large loft apartment. Perhaps the only downside to their idyllic existence is Sam’s inability to tell Molly that he loves her, only ever using the word “ditto.” Out together one night, Sam and Molly are set upon by a mugger, intent on stealing Sam’s wallet. Sam offers him money, but this is not enough for the mugger, Willie Lopez, who is fixated with the wallet, which we later learn contains the passwords to the accounts which Sam has control of. In the struggle that ensues, a shot rings out. As Sam staggers away from Willie, he notices that Molly is crouched desperately over a body. His body. Sam’s body is taken to hospital, where he dies on the operating table. Sam’s ghost is stuck between worlds, confused and alone, until he is befriended by a friendly ghost who explains about his current situation. Sam begins to learn how the spirit world works, but he cannot do the one thing that he needs to do, which is communicate with Molly. Sam finds himself at the parlour of Oda Mae Brown, a dodgy psychic who specialises in conning money out of vulnerable widows. He realises that Oda Mae can hear him and he persuades her to visit Molly. Initially cynical, Molly begins to believe Oda Mae when she tells her private things about her life with Sam. However, in the background, Carl is determined that Molly should not believe Oda Mae. Sam follows Carl to the flat of Willie Lopez, believing that he is going to confront him, only to discover that the mugging was at Carl’s instigation, with the purpose of obtaining the passwords and transferring money from Sam’s accounts to his.
Molly finds it harder and harder to cope with Sam’s loss and, despite Carl’s best efforts to help her to forget her fiance, Molly sinks further into her grief. Meanwhile, Sam is working to thwart Carl’s plan. With the help of a ghost on the subway, he learns how to move objects with the power of his mind, before beginning to haunt Carl, typing the word “murderer” onto his computer screen. Of course, Carl does not see Sam, so is traumatised by this turn of events. Sam persuades Oda Mae to help him once more, this time to become a fictitious account customer, the owner of an account that Carl has created as part of his scam. As “Rita Miller”, Oda Mae enters the bank and makes a withdrawal, with Sam giving her pointers to stop her real identity being revealed. Oda Mae can’t believe her ears when she is told that she is about to withdraw $10 million and leaves, somewhat unsteadily, with a bankers cheque made out to this amount. Oda Mae considers what she is going to do with her newfound wealth, but Sam makes her give the money away. They return to Molly, just in time before Carl arrives, desperate for the cheque that “Rita Miller” has withdrawn. In the struggle the ensues, Carl dies and is consumed by the shadows of death. Sam and Molly realise that is time for them to say goodbye for the last time. Sam thanks Oda Mae and, for the first time, is able to tell Molly that he loves her, before ascending up into the light of happiness and eternal life.
Book & Lyrics by BRUCE JOEL RUBIN
Music & Lyrics by DAVE STEWART & GLEN BALLARD
Based on the Paramount Pictures film written by Bruce Joel Rubin
Original West End Production Produced by Colin Ingram, David Garfinkle, Adam Silberman, Land Line Productions, Donovan Mannato, Michael Edwards / Carole Winter
“Unchained Melody” written by Hy Zaret and Alex North, courtesy of Unchained Melody Publishing LLC
Orchestrations by David Abbinanti
SAM WHEAT – 20’s, lead, male, office-worker in NYC, living with long-term girlfriend, MOLLY. Vocal Range: G# to Bb
MOLLY JENSEN – 20’s, lead, female, artist living in NYC with boyfriend, SAM. Vocal Range: G to Eb
ODA MAE BROWN – 20’s – 40’s, lead, black female, spiritual advisor at a storefront séance parlor in Brooklyn, told as a child that she had “the gift” by her mother and grandmother (who were both able to communicate with the dead). Larger than life, able to play for laughs but with sincerity and truth. Vocal Range: G to E
CARL BRUNER – 20’s, lead, male, “friend” and colleague of SAM. Strong actor and singer who becomes corrupted and jealous of everything that SAM has, including MOLLY. Vocal Range: F to G
WILLIE LOPEZ – 18 – 20’s, a Puerto Rican male, streetwise criminal. Not a singing role.
SUBWAY GHOST – male, any age. He believes the trains are his because he was pushed onto the track and killed. Aggressive and powerful, a good physical actor is required. He must be able to fight with SAM and physically and emotionally dominate him. Not a singing role.
HOSPITAL GHOST – can be played by a male or female and is one of the first ghosts that SAM encounters and is usually played older but not necessary. A good comic actor and singer. Vocal Range: C to A
*CLARA – black female, Oda Mae’s sister/helper at her séance parlor. Comic role, good singer. Vocal Range: D to D
*LOUISE – black female, Oda Mae’s sister/helper at her séance parlor. Comic role, good singer. Vocal Range: D to D
*For the School Edition, you could add a new character, MARIA in addition to CLARA and LOUISE, breaking up the dialogue between 3 girls instead of 2.
LIONEL FURGESON, A bank officer
DETECTIVE BEIDERMAN, NYPD homicide detective, can be played by a male or female
MRS. ROSA SANTIAGO, client of ODA MAE
OFFICER WALLACE, can be played by a male or female
OFFICE ASSISTANT, can be played by a male or female
MINISTER, can be played by a male or female
ORTISHA JONES, female client of ODA MAE
ORLANDO, a male ghost, deceased husband of ORTISHA JONES
NUN 1, female, any age
NUN 2, female, any age
GHOSTS IN HOSPITAL
Note: Where race and ethnicity are indicated, they should be honored. Where race or ethnicity are not indicated, that does not by default indicate whiteness, but rather that a character can be of any race or ethnicity.
Piano/Conductor (Keyboard 1)
Utility (Keyboard 2, Acoustic Guitar)
Reed (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax & Tenor Sax)
Trumpet (doubling Flugelhorn)
Violin (doubling waterphone)
Guitar (Electric, Acoustic, e-bow)
Drums/Percussion (Drum Set, Triangle, Shaker, Tambourine)