“Beetlejuice” announced they’re ghosting Broadway to haunt a neighborhood near you after a near two-year stint in New York. “Beetlejuice” will hold its final Broadway show on January 8th, 2023. The North American tour kicks off in Kentucky on December 1st, though it won’t be in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre until July 11th of next year.
The musical stems from the 1988 horror/comedy film of the same name, written by Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren, and directed by none other than the spooktacular Tim Burton. The musical is produced by Warner Bros. and directed by Alex Timbers, who you may know from “Moulin Rouge!” Connor Gallagher designed the choreography and Eddie Perfect composed the music and lyrics. The tour cast consists of Justin Collette as Beetlejuice; Isabella Esler as Lydia; Britney Coleman as Barbara; Will Burton as Adam; Jesse Sharp at Charles; and Kate Marilley as Delia.
“Beetlejuice” tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a quiet, abnormal teenager (who refers to herself strange and unusual) who recently lost her mother. Lydia’s father, Charles Deetz, moves her to the house of Adam and Barbara Maitland, a childless couple who also recently passed away. Mr. Deetz wants to turn their new house into a model home for his gated community idea. He is hosting a dinner party to pitch the idea to his business colleagues and potential investors.
Beetlejuice, a dirty, disgusting demon, is dead set on getting a mortal to say his name three times as it’s the only way he can be set free. To accomplish this, Beetlejuice burns the Maitland’s book, “Handbook for the Recently Deceased,” which was designed to help them transition into the afterlife and then tricks them into haunting their old house. Though as it turns out, the Maitlands are far from scary or intimidating. Lydia just so happens to be able to see the Maitlands and Beetlejuice. She befriends the not-so-scary couple and even tries to help them scare off her family. It was far from successful; in fact, the investors plan to capitalize on the haunting. Feeling hopeless, Lydia sets Beetlejuice free in a last-ditch effort to scare everyone away.
This is where trouble ensues. You can’t set a demon free without any consequences. Beetlejuice expects Lydia to live by the code of the dead and gives Lydia a copy of the “Handbook for the Recently Deceased,” but being a mortal, she is unable to open it. The Maitlands are scared of the Netherworld and forbid Lydia from using the book to find her mother. Beetlejuice claims to help Lydia find her mother and tells her to read a passage from the book, but in reality, he tricks Lydia into exorcising Barbara Maitland. To stop the event and save her friend, Lydia is forced to marry Beetlejuice. Lydia escapes to the Netherworld which infuriates Beetlejuice and he vows to murder everyone.
Beetlejuice isn’t the only one with tricks up his stripped sleeve; Lydia has a plan of her own. She pretends she is going to marry him after all. Coming back to life for the wedding, Lydia stabs Beetlejuice, killing him once more and making him a newly deceased person, causing him to return to the Netherworld. Lydia and her family co-inhabit the house with the Maitlands and learn there is much to live for.
“Beetlejuice” reminds us that every day is worth living life to the fullest! At its soul, it’s a heartwarming story of family and not taking one single day for granted.
You can catch “Beetlejuice” at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre from July 11-30, 2023. The show runs approximately two hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.