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Arts and Entertainment

Charlotte native stars in "Ghost the Musical"
The national tour stops in Charlotte April 1-6
Published Monday, March 31, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

Charlotte native Brandon Curry said performing in his hometown for the first time is surreal and a dream come true. He stars in "Ghost the Musical" at Belk Theater April 1-6.

Based on the Oscar-winning movie, “Ghost,” a timeless fantasy about love, “Ghost the Musical” is making its Charlotte debut April 1-6 at Belk Theatre.

For those who may not recall the iconic 1990s film, it tells the story of Sam (Patrick Swayze), who is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and trying to communicate with his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore) through a phony psychic Ola May (Whoopi Goldberg). While staying true to the storyline and classic scenes that made the original movie such a smashing hit, the musical adds a magical twist with new-age technology, allowing the audience to become part of the show.

Charlotte-native Brandon Curry, a graduate of Northwest School of the Arts, plays the deranged Subway Ghost, who teaches Sam the ropes of the afterlife. In the following Q&A, Curry shares his thoughts on performing in his hometown for the first time, gives advice on having a successful career in the business and gives us the scoop on what audiences can expect from the musical. Some questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Question: How did you get your start in acting?

Answer: As a kid, I was really big into sports. I got into basketball. I played football, and I ran track. But the older I got, the more I really didn’t like doing it. My mom could tell that I wasn’t really having it… As a freshman at North, I started studying music really intensely... My mom saw an announcement for a regionally touring play that was happening at Children’s Theater. She encouraged me to audition…  I ended up getting the part in this play, and ever since then I’ve been in a play – literally every season. It’s a blessing, and not any people can say that.

Q: Do you have any advice for those who aspire to make a career in the performance arts? How do you go from being a student or doing it for fun to becoming a professional that makes a living as a performer?

A: For those who are doing it for fun, just have fun. Do as many community shows as you can and have a good time doing it. You can end up becoming really good and decide later you want to do it for a living.

To those who may be in school or auditioning around town, I would say have a thick skin and help yourself. Take classes. Study your craft, and don’t think that raw talent is enough. There are thousands of people who have raw talent. You have to go out there and figure out the business. It is a dream, and it’s a fun job. But it’s a business. You have to know how to market yourself, and go for it.

And for actors of color, it’s a revolutionary time right now because in theater, especially in New York, we have lots of new roles for us. This is something that hasn’t happened on this scale in the last thirty years. So now is the time to run towards this. If you really want to do it, go for it because who knows when an era like this is going to come back around.

Q: When “Ghost the Musical” comes to Charlotte, will it be your first performance in your hometown since you left for New York in 2011?

A: Yes. This will be the first thing that people have seen me in since I left. This is my first tour ever, and it’s the first national tour of “Ghost the Musical,” which is great. It’s an original cast. We’ve got all the production team from Broadway. It’s been a really cool experience.

Q: How does it feel to come home and perform for your hometown?

A: It’s surreal. I remember seeing shows like “The Color Purple.” I saw it before I left Charlotte at The Belk (Theater), the same theater that we’re playing. I remember sitting in the audience thinking that it would be so cool for my mother and father to be able to come in our hometown to see me in a show. I hoped that it would happen one day, and it’s happening!

Q: What can the audience expect?

A: I know that a lot of people coming are big fans of the movie, which is great because Bruce Ruben, the same guy that wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie, also wrote the screenplay for the musical. So all those iconic moments like the pottery wheel scene and Ola May’s great moments that were in the movie are still in the musical.

But it’s also a new age musical that’s the first of its generation. We have 6,000-pound LED screens that serve as our set instead of the traditional background set. It’s really fly. It’s very contemporary, and the audience can expect to see something that they’ve never seen before.

Q: What are some biggest differences between the movie and the musical?

A: There’s tons of magic going on. Paul Kieve, the man who did the magic for the Harry Potter movies and ‘Matilda on Broadway,’ choreographed all the magic. There are moments, without giving too much away, where you can see objects floating in the air. There’s a moment in the show where I get to fly. It’s really cool. It’s a big magic show. David Copperfield came to the show, and even he couldn’t figure out some of the magic tricks.

Q: What are your plans after the tour wraps?

A: In the life of an actor you never really know, but I am going to have the opportunity to go back to New York in April and in May for some audition appointments. So I’m not worried about it. I feel like it’s going to be OK. I’m going to continue working, and as long as I keep working hard and continue to put God first, it’s going to work out.

Visit www.blumenthalarts.org for show times and tickets for “Ghost the Musical.”


wow great interview spoken like a true star and buisness man i love all the pointers you gave...God bless you Brandon in everything that you do from here on out... and i hope that i can catch one of your shows.
Posted on April 1, 2014

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