It’s showtime with Broadway’s ‘Beetlejuice’

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Photo courtesy of playbill.com

Broadway’s “Beetlejuice” brings the movie to the stage.

Amanda Huxta, Staff Writer

It’s showtime! 

“Beetlejuice” began its Broadway debut in 2018, and still draws impressive crowds almost two years later (it is running through at least March). This wacky show based off of Tim Burton’s horror comedy breaks the boundaries of normal musicals. Gone are the days of upbeat “Annie” and dramatic “Wicked,” “Beetlejuice” depicts a dark humor that has viewers wondering if they should laugh or cry. 

Spoiler alert, most of the audience does both. 

In “Beetlejuice,” main character Lydia Deetz (Sophia Ann Caruso) recently suffered the death of her mother. She is forced to move into a new house, which happens to be haunted by a married couple, Adam (David Josefsberg) and Barbara Maitland (Kerry Butler). Meanwhile, title character Beetlejuice (Alex Brightman) charms audience members as we follow his mission to be resurrected. 

While many aspects of the performance are extraordinary, the music is the true showstopper. It employs both humorous and heart wrenching songs, like Beetlejuice’s ironically cheerful “The Whole Being Dead Thing.’ 

Just as important as the songs are the people who sing them. Caruso is only eighteen, yet she sings like a professional with years of experience. Leslie Kritzer, who plays Lydia’s stepmother Delia, is just as talented, hitting insane high notes in “What I Know Now.”

Of course, “Beetlejuice” would be incomplete without its shocking comedies. Parents should note this is not a child friendly show, as Brightman entertains the audience with his raunchy humor. In fact, the only negative from the show was how much my sides hurt from laughter. 

Compared to most musicals, it is relatively inexpensive, with tickets ranging from $60-to-$80. Of course, the merchandise and beverages have slightly outrageous prices, offering $30 T-shirts. However, if audience members choose to forego the extra expenses, they will experience an affordable and unforgettable night out. 

“Beetlejuice” deals with the very sensitive topic of death, and handles such a serious subject remarkably well. Specific religions are not mentioned, making the show open to all denominations. In fact, instead of harping on about the inevitability of death, it encourages audience members to live their life to the fullest. There is not a dry eye in the theater at the end of the performance, with every person motivated to make the most of their time on Earth. 

After the show, the cast appears at the stage door outside the theater, ready to sign posters and playbills. I met the actors, and found them extremely personable, many willing to take pictures and strike up small conversations with their adoring fans. Evidently, the fame from being in such a popular musical has not diminished their kindness. 

Overall, I would rate “Beetlejuice” a perfect 10/10. The music, performances, and affordability make it a must see for any avid musical lover. Even still, the producers of the show recognize that not everyone can visit New York City, and have made the cast recording available on all streaming platforms. While the in-person experience is indescribable, the recording allows fans all over the world to enjoy this refreshingly unconventional masterpiece.