Beetlejuice on Broadway – review and facts about the musical in New York City
If you know a little bit about Broadway you know how many cool and interesting musicals debut in recent times. One that made me most excited was Beetlejuice, which premiered in March in New York. I have vague memories about the character in a cartoon, but I remember that I enjoyed and that simple fact was enough to make me curious. In fact, the musical is based on the eponymous movie Beetlejuice from 1988. It was this movie that helped establish Tim Burton as one of Hollywood’s most exclusive new artists. A few weeks ago my mother was visiting me and we decided to go watch. I confess: I knew almost nothing about the plot, I quickly read a summary on the flyer that is delivered when we arrived at the theater. And it was a great experience because we love the musical. As I know that newer musicals arouse curiosity, I’m here to share my impressions with you.
Despite many jokes, Beetlejuice is, as stressed by himself, a show about death. Obviously, all of this is told in a way, say, lighter, with a lot of humor and some scares than a story like this deserves. But, as it involves death, it involves pain. It is impossible not to sympathize with Lydia, who has not overcome her mother’s early death and suffers from her absence. The mother is something remarkable in the life of a child and losing her at such a delicate and insecure stage that adolescence adds much more weight. I was touched by some Lydia songs – they are quite painful. It is noteworthy that the story moves with many mysterious concepts, such as the very existence of ghosts and the existence of another reality. All of this is approached in a very intriguing way. Another factor worth noting is that, although the musical is inspired by the movie, the script has been adapted and has several jokes with current themes – which made the musical very interesting. Moreover, it is not a story, say, obvious. It is an unusual script. The cast, of course, also deserves honorable mention. Everyone is impeccable in their performances, especially Delia, Lydia’s “stepmother,” and the ghosts Adam and Barbara.
As it is a musical with a touch of “horror”, there are several effects that give small scares to the audience. The timing of the change of scenery, choreography and other effects is perfect, that thing worthy of Broadway, right? The highlight for me is the scenarios that transport us to the scene in a very faithful way.
Some facts about the musical
- Beetlejuice musical tells the same story as the original film. But the stage version brings the character of Lydia to the center of the story.
- The dinner party scene is in the show, but where it exists and how it functions and how the music functions is surprising.
- The Tony Award nominee Alex Brightman (School of Rock) is Beetlejuice.
I went to watch the musical without any expectations and without knowing much about the story, but I was surprised by what I saw. It’s a non-obvious story, it’s not predictable and I loved the acid humor – understanding English makes it a lot easier here. For non-English speakers, I strongly recommend watching the movie first for more context. Honestly, I think Beetlejuice would yield a great play (without being musical).
- Buy your tickets.
- Digital Lottery – $43. Enter at beetlejuicelottery.com on the day of the performance, 2 tickets per person.
- General Rush, $43. Available when the box office opens, subject to availability. 2 tickets per person.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.