Meet Katie Postotnik, Star of 'Ghost: The Musical'
"Ghost: The Musical" is the stage adaptation of the beloved film "Ghost," which was released over 20 years ago in 1990 and starred Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. "Ghost: The Musical" is currently touring the country in its first US tour, and will be stopping in East Lansing this week at the Wharton Center, December 10th-15th, 2013.
I spoke with Katie Postotnik, who stars as Molly Jensen, about the show's special effects, the timeless love story, and what fans of the film can expect from the stage adaptation.
STEFANIE POHL: You're starring in "Ghost: The Musical" and also appeared in the tour of "Rock of Ages." What do you think are some of the perks and also challenges of doing a stage adaptation of a popular film?
KATIE POSTOTNIK: As far as movie musicals go, they either follow the plot line of the movie or they'll do something different. I feel what's really awesome about ours is that it I think it stays true to the original story, which I personally like. When you go to see a movie musical you already know and love, you want to see the story that you know, and those characters coming to life on stage. The writer of the film's script wrote the book for the musical, so things are literally plucked from the script into the show.
SP: What was your familiarity with the film prior to being cast as the lead in the musical adaptation?
KP: I saw it a lot growing up and I loved it. I knew it was going to Broadway last year and so I thought 'I've gotta go see that.' So I went a couple times to see the show and fell in love with it. When I knew they were doing a tour, I was very excited. I'm just thrilled to be given this part.
SP: There are a lot of visual effects used in the film. How does that translate to the stage?
KP: We can't do movie magic, but I feel that our production is visually amazing. We have two huge LED screens that move up and down. We set the scenes with them, like the subway for example. I think they add a lot to the look of the stage. We have a lot of magic tricks as well - we have magic rehearsals to learn the tricks. There are some illusions to make some of the moments you know from the movie come alive on the stage.
SP: "Ghost" is known as a very romantic story, but the lead characters don't actually get to interact with each other very much. How are you able to build chemistry with Steve Douglas (who plays Sam Wheat) and bring that relationship to life on stage in this nontraditional love story?
KP: It's been really interesting and totally different from other shows - with other shows, you have all show to build up to your big moment. We have three scenes in the beginning of the show to set up [the relationship] and get the audience invested in us as a couple. If they don't come along with us, the whole show is less meaningful to them. We've worked hard on making sure we convey that. The whole rest of the show, I don't see [Sam] until the last two minutes. Once he's dead, we can't look at him or hear him. It's totally unique, like no other acting scene I've really done.
SP: "Unchained Melody," which was used in the film, is also in the stage version. What else should fans expect from the show and its music?
KP: I feel that they weave that song into the show very intelligently. It pops in several times, with Sam singing it, or coming on the radio. It's present throughout, which is kind of cool. The show has something for everyone, and even something new for fans of the film. Coming in with an open mind and knowing it's adapted for the stage, fans will still have something to enjoy. There's comedy and emotion, and it's so visually stimulating. It's a really nice pop-rock score and it's all new music.
See Katie Postotnik in "Ghost: The Musical" at the Wharton Center beginning Tuesday, December 10th through Sunday, December 15th. For tickets and other information, visit the Wharton Center website.