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Theater review: A pallid 'Ghost'

Phenomenal special effects can’t save the lack of humanity or depth in this adaptation.

From the get-go, the special effects of "Ghost," at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, are phenomenal. In the opening seconds, projections of Manhattan skyscrapers whiz by in a gorgeous explosion of momentum, followed in the course of the show by subway trains, stock tickers, dancers' silhouettes and other vivid creations of projection designer Jon Driscoll. A technical glitch at the performance we attended was a mere distraction. So was the plot.

"Ghost" is so caught up in technology that it lacks humanity. Its performers, costumes and sets are attractive, its music reasonably tuneful if slightly generic. But these elements don't hold a candle to the pizzazz of the projections.

For those who don't know the movie, Sam (Richard Fleeshman), an investment banker, is shot on the street in a seemingly random mugging. His spirit remains on earth, however, and he soon learns that his colleague Carl (Bryce Pinkham) masterminded his murder, seeking to profit from it to the tune of $10 million. Sam enlists the help of the reluctant Oda Mae (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), a pseudo-psychic who discovers she has real clairvoyant powers, to contact his grieving girlfriend Molly (Caissie Levy) and stop Carl.

As in the movie, the character of Oda Mae provides heavy-duty comic relief, and Randolph milks it -- becoming increasingly more outrageous as the story progresses. But even she can't match the dazzling display of the videos. They should serve the story, but instead they swallow it.

If you go

'Ghost'

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

205 W. 46th St.

$57-$137, 877-250-2929

www.ticketmaster.com