JANESVILLE

Patrick Swayze is coming to Parker High School—in spirit, at least.

The school’s theater will soon boast vibrant shades of Swayze when the Rock River Repertory Theatre opens the summer musical version of the hit 1990 film “Ghost.”

The musical tells the story of Sam, a banker who is killed after a mugger confronts him and his wife, Molly, on a walk one night in Manhattan. After learning the mugging was planned by his close friend, and that Molly might still be in danger, Sam’s ghost tries to figure out what is happening and protect her before she comes to harm.

The production will feature six shows at Parker High School, opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

Director Jim Tropp said he is excited for the community to see the musical because it features a fairly recent title people might not often see in theaters. The music also sets it apart from other shows, Tropp said.

“We decided to do ‘Ghost’ because it was a popular movie, and it just was something we wanted to do. It’s unique and different,” he said.

The show is different in that the music is unlike that of most musical productions, Tropp said.

“It was smartly written,” he said. “The music has this really cool feel to it because there is a lot of guitar, and it really gets rocking at some places. But the dialogue is very real, too.”

The show, which Tropp labeled a “musical comedy drama,” features actors from Janesville, Madison, Beloit, Edgerton and other area cities. Some are professionals; others are students.

Nicki Dougherty of Madison began doing shows with Tropp when she was a student at Parker High School in 2006. She said she is excited to return to Parker to perform ‘Ghost,’ and she smiled when asked about performing a movie that featured Swayze.

“I am excited to be back at my old stomping grounds,” she said. “I love the movie, and of course Patrick Swayze, too.”

Dougherty said she hopes people take time to check out the show.

“The music is very current, and it is really powerful,” she said. “The show is very sad, but it is also uplifting at the same time. It’s not something that everybody has seen in musical form, so I think people will enjoy it.”

Fellow actress Hayley Rosenthal of Beloit currently attends the University of Minnesota-Duluth as a musical theater major. In “Ghost,” she portrays Molly.

“The music is so amazing,” she said. “It is so different and unique, and I think this cast is really going to make it special.”

While she hadn’t seen the original movie, Rosenthal said she is excited to perform the play.

“People are not going to want to miss this,” she said. “I haven’t seen the movie, actually, but I know the music comes from the movie, and the scenes are really close. So far, it has been amazing.”

Tropp agreed.

“It’s a super fun musical, and the actors have been phenomenal,” he said. “This is a show you probably won’t get to see again.

“If you want to see some great actors singing some great music in a great theater, come on down. You won’t regret it.”

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