Ghost the Musical recently opened on Broadway. It is easy to be cynical about the latest Broadway adaption of a famous film. Producers probably believe that there is a built in audience for a stage version of a successful, well-known movie. Laying aside the cynicism and its average music score, Ghost the Musical offers several hours of diverting entertainment.

The musical is of course derived from the 1990 film Ghost, starring the late Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Swayze was riding something of a career wave at the time of the film’s release, which occurred three years after Dirty Dancing.

Music and lyrics of Ghost the Musical are by Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard, and Bruce Joel Rubin. As with so many other recent Broadway musicals, the songs of Ghost seem fine when first heard but are difficult to recall after the show is over. It appears that a strong beat has replaced a strong melody in many recent Broadway productions.

The highlight of the musical is Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who plays the medium/charlatan originally incarnated by Whoopi Goldberg. (Another musical, Sister Act, based on another Whoopi Goldberg movie is also currently on Broadway) When Ms. Randolph makes her entrance about a third of the way through the first act, the energy level of the production palpably rises. Her sassy, streetwise attitude dominates the stage. Her second act Vegas-like production number, “I’m Outta Here,”  is one of the highlights of the evening.

Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy star as a young New York couple (originally played by Swayze and Moore) and have a convincing chemistry. Levy in particular has a lovely voice and I was left wondering if she has made any recordings other than the cast album. Bryce Pinkham plays the resident snake in the grass who recalls Hamlet’s line, “That one may smile, and smile and be a villain…” Considering the recent shenanigans on Wall Street, the financial scandal at the heart of the plot makes the underlying story seem more relevant now than at the time of the film’s release in 1990.

Other elements lifted from the original movie include a scruffy phantom (Tyler McGee) who haunts the subway and gives instruction to the recently deceased on how to move objects in the material world. Stranger things have probably been seen on the New York City subway system.

Ghost the Musical is certainly entertaining in a light sort of way, and both Ms. Randolph’s performance and the visual aspects of the production keep audiences engaged. As with the original movie, the musical will probably be best appreciated by young couples on a date. The audience is left contemplating whether love truly does transcend mortality.

Ghost the Musical is playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre located at 205 W. 46th Street. For ticketing information log on to Curiously, the last tenant of the Lunt-Fontanne was The Addams Family, another ghostly musical based on another Hollywood franchise.