Casper the Friendly Ghost will sing in Pittsburgh in summer 2001, when Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera presents the American premiere of Casper the Musical.
The musical, drawing on the boy-ghost character who helps rather than haunts, was previously seen in London in 1999 and early 2000. The famous ghost was created in 1945 and, over the years, has haunted TV cartoons, comic books and a 1995 live action feature film.
The musical will play Pittsburgh CLO at the Benedum Center June 5-24, 2001.
In the show, by lyricist-librettist David H. Bell and composers Henry Marsh (co-founder of the band Sailor) and Phil Pickett (who penned Boy George's "Karma Chameleon"), Casper helps a team of ghost hunters wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural to save a gothic Manhattan mansion from being overrun by zombies.
The show's original concept is credited to Patrick Nally. Bell directed and choreographed the London staging. He previously co-wrote and directed The Hot Mikado at the Queen's Theatre (London) in 1995. Casper played briefly at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London, opening in December 1999. The show — dubbed a "spooky spectacular" — spawned a cast album. Special effects and puppeteering were a major part of the London show and are expected to be used in Pittsburgh as well. The show's direction and choreography were praised in London. The show includes what some critics called "copyright-skirting" references to "Ghostbusters" — Casper's allies are called "Spookinators."
Songs include "Rattle Me Bones," "Guys In Orange," "12 12 Hours 'Till Tomorrow," "Act Strong," "Up To No Good," "Casper," "Bad Relations," "Force Orange" (Instrumental), "Friendship," "Have A Night Out," "More," "Zombie Chase Theme," "I Could Love A Man Named Stinkie," "Livin' In Harmony."
The Pittsburgh CLO 2001 season also includes Brigadoon, Bells Are Ringing, A Chorus Line, South Pacific and Company.
For information, call (412) 281-3973.