UPDATE: This production was forced to close prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s Showtime! Based on the hugely popular 1988 film by Tim Burton, Beetlejuice has finally been unearthed for the Broadway stage. The brand new musical features a book by Scott Brown and Emmy Award nominee Anthony King and an original score by Australian singer-songwriter Eddie Perfect, and it even has a couple of signature tunes from the original movie thrown in for good measure (“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jump in the Line (Shake, Señora),” both made famous by Jamaican-American icon Harry Belafonte).
Under the direction of two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, Beetlejuice promises more ghoulish raunch and filth than you could possibly imagine (oh, and the biggest sandworm Broadway has ever seen, of course.) The scenic design by David Korins is a stunningly macabre tribute to Tim Burton himself and the production overflows with special effects by Jeremy Chernick and illusions by Michael Weber that are as jaw-dropping as they are heart-stopping.
Charged with bringing the ghost with the most “to life” eight times a week is original cast member and the Tony-nominated star of School of Rock, Alex Brightman! Fiendishly good casting, we say, as Brightman revels in the irreverence of the title character, stepping into the shoes (and monochrome-striped suit) of Michael Keaton, who created Beetlejuice on the silver screen, alongside co-stars Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara.
The 1988 movie is credited with firmly establishing Tim Burton as the Master of Macabre and the leader of the gothic fantasy genre. The Broadway musical stays loyal to the source material’s tone and is a true gift for Burton fans across the world.
Produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Langley Park Productions, whose previous Broadway credits include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Misery, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Elf among others, the world premiere pre-Broadway engagement of Beetlejuice was staged at the National Theatre in Washington D.C. from October 14 to November 18, 2018. Broadway performances begin on March 28, 2019, ahead of an official opening on April 25.
So, buckle up, Broadway fans! Are you ready to meet Beetlejuice... Beetlejuice... BEETLEJUICE???!!!
(Photos by Matthew Murphy)