The 1988 Cult Classic “Beetlejuice” is Now a Broadway Sensation
By: Brooke Price
Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice! All you have to do is say his name three times for him to appear. This raunchy and hilarious demon from another dimension has made a long-awaited Broadway debut.
“Beetlejuice” was originally a 1988 movie directed by Tim Burton that starred Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder. The film centered on a newlywed couple, Adam and Barbara, played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, who recently died, and inquire Beetlejuice to help scare out the new people who have moved into their house.
The movie now has a musical adaptation, which opened in the Winter Garden Theater on April 25th, 2019 and has since garnered a large fan base since its debut.
There are some changes in the musical such as Delia being Charles’ new girlfriend, in comparison to her being Lydia’s innovative sculptor mother in the film.
Another change is that in the film, Adam and Barbara help Lydia get an A on her math test, leading to “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora).” However in the musical, the song is at the end of the show when Lydia comes to terms with the way her life is going.
One thing that both the play and film do is display the connection between Adam, Barbara, and Lydia. Adam and Barbara parent Lydia, all the while in the afterlife and in a way are the parents she never had, which is a heartfelt moment. When Lydia goes through a rough patch, she confides in them.
The musical was able to add more depth to the characters, such as Beetlejuice’s struggle with loneliness and Lydia’s depression.
Beetlejuice is like a wandering spirit, he’s invisible to everyone else unless he finds someone to say his name three times. He laments on how lonely he is and that he has no one to talk to.
However, he later forms a friendship with Lydia who can see him.
Alex Brightman stars as Beetlejuice, the devious, comedic and sexual demon from the Netherworld, where the deceased live.
Sophia Anne Caruso played the strange and unusual Lydia Deetz, who is stuck in a dark period after her mother passes away. Her last performance in the show was February 19th and since then, Presley Ryan, the understudy for Lydia, has taken over the role until March 29th. “Beetlejuice” has yet to announce who will play Lydia after March 29th.
Lydia can’t come to terms with moving on from her mother’s death. She clings on to the past and doesn’t want to move on from her mother.
Lydia becomes depressed after her mother’s death and resorts to wearing all black and talking to her mother’s spirit.
To make matters worse, her dad is moving on and is dating the free spirited and charismatic Delia. Delia is a life coach and tries to pass on her life coach lessons to Lydia to bring her out of her rut and make her happy again.
However, Delia’s lessons don’t get through to Lydia as she refuses to accept Delia as a new mother figure, or someone who will replace her mom.
There is also some highbrow humor and innuendoes which adds a humorous undertone to a show basically about death.
There is also one song in the show called “Creepy Old Guy,” where Lydia is getting ready to marry Beetlejuice and sings about being an underage bride.
The musical incorporates some of the audience’s favorite songs from the movie such as “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”and “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora).” These songs will be sure to put a smile on your face when you see them performed live.
The props are also fascinating, we get to see Beetlejuice riding a life-size sandworm like the one from the film, which was an amazing feat.
“Beetlejuice” is only on Broadway until June 6th, so jump in the line and get tickets while you can!