Beetlejuice the Musical: The show with the most

Beetlejuice: The Musical just recently closed on Broadway after opening in 2019. The dynamic show faced some issues with COVID-19. After its first opening in 2019, it was shut down due to the pandemic. It was then reopened in April of 2022 and closed again this January. Now it’s on a national tour around the US, and hopefully, it will get to run for a long time now.

The musical itself is based on the original Tim Burton movie ‘Beetlejuic.’ The show follows Lydia Deetz, a girl whose mom recently died a tragic death. Lydia goes to the attic of her new house and stumbles upon two ghosts who would do anything to get her family out of the house.

Her involvement in the macabre attracts a ghoul who would do anything to feel ‘alive’ again, including but not limited to killing her dad. He promises she can have anything she wants, including vengeance for her mom, but only if she says the ghost’s name three times. Lydia agrees, but quickly realizes it was a trick and that Beetlejuice is just a chaotic goofball who enjoys tormenting people. The rest of the show follows her and the two ghosts she befriended to stop the supernatural chaos before people get hurt.

Beetlejuice is a beautiful musical all in all. Not only is its soundtrack incredible, but its bright and lively set design has won awards, too. How cool is it to have an animatronic worm on set? Bo Welch, the lead set designer, spent years working on set, but even his hard work couldn’t get the show a Tony. Many people argue that the set design is the only good part of the show, which I wholeheartedly disagree with. This review from the New York Post definitely tries to depict the show in a gross, grungy way, which is entirely untrue.

Personally, I think the best part of the show is the actors themselves.

Alex Brightman, the actor for Beetlejuice, brought a very unique take to the character, giving him a playful and gravelly voice and evil attitude. This was brand new to the world of Broadway, and thus the Beetlejuice franchise became iconic again, 20+ years after Michael Keaton’s original debut. Sophia Caruso, who played Lydia in the musical and followed right behind Winona Ryder, also did something original for her character, making her voice hit an octave most Broadway actors could not even dream of reaching. These vocal talents are shown off very well in the song “Say My Name.” It’s full of banter and personality, and it’s very catchy!

Although everything else about the show rocks, there’s still room for improvement. For one, some of the writing doesn’t mesh well with certain music genres and characters. Like Lydia, the main character, who is supposed to be embarking on a spiritual journey with a supernatural demon, doesn’t seem very affected, and instead presents herself as cold and stoic. It doesn’t add any flavor to the show and makes it seem way too macabre.

All in all, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons in terms of the aspects of the show. If you ever have time and money when you’re in NYC, be sure to check out the show! You definitely won’t regret it!

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