STORY WRITTEN BY RITA CHARLESTON
For Digital First Media
“Ghost, The Musical,” based on the popular film from 1990, takes the stage at The Media Theatre through March 29.
With a book by Bruce Joel Rubin, and music from the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart assisted by Glen Ballard, the show focuses on Sam (Patrick Swayze in the film) and Molly (portrayed by Demi Moore), two lovers who are attacked upon returning home one evening causing Sam’s death. An eccentric medium does what she can to help Sam get back in touch with Molly in this first regional professional production of the Broadway musical in the Philly region.
JP Dunphy, who lives in Media, appears as the Subway Ghost in the show. The Ghost, who has haunted the New York subway system ever since he died after being pushed onto the tracks, teaches the late Sam how to move objects with his mind.
“In the film the Ghost is played as somewhat of an oddball,” Dunphy explains. “For my character, I take a little from him as well as applying my own take. As a musical it doesn’t quite flow as it does with the original character you see in the movie. I play him more like an angry Brooklynite.”
In order to do that, Dunphy says he called a couple of his friends who live in Brooklyn asking how certain lines should be spoken in order to sound as realistic as possible. “I put together a combination of what they told me and what I got as portrayed in the show’s lyrics, and what you see is what I ended up with.”
Dunphy is happy to say that worked out well, “so the only challenge now is trying to find the right balance between yelling and saving my voice for the next scene,” he explains. “When we’re not on stage, we do a lot of choral singing off stage, so it’s very important to use your voice in a multitude of situations.”
A baritenor (one who can sing as a baritone as well as a tenor), Dunphy says he owes his career choice to Disney. “As a kid I used to sit around and watch all the Disney movies I could, especially ‘Aladdin,’ really anything that had to do with music. I really wanted to do that. “
Eventually it was off to major in musical theatre at DeSales University. Since graduating, he has been seen in many regional productions, even becoming a 2010 Broadway World Award Nominee for his Philadelphia debut as Jinx in “Forever Plaid.” Dunphy says receiving awards are nice because they are a testament to your work, but insists that’s not why actors do what they do.
“Very few people in this business work solely for fame and glory,” he explains. “We do it because we love what we do. And the greatest joy of all is the applause. At the end of scene, the applause fires up the stage and it’s very, very satisfying.”
Over the years, Dunphy has also done some film and Tv work, but insists there’s nothing like working in front of that live audience. “The art of the theater is infectious. It’s like a disease that you never want to get rid of.”
For ticket information, call the Media Theatre box office at (610) 891-0100 or check www.mediatheatre.org