If you enjoy things that are “strange and unusual” then you may just want to check out Beetlejuice The Musical which is now touring around the United States. Here are my (spoiler-free) thoughts on this Broadway adaptation of the classic Tim Burton film.
Synopsis: Based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film, BEETLEJUICE tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes. With an irreverent book, an astonishing set, and a score that’s out of this Netherworld, BEETLEJUICE is “A FEAST FOR THE EYES AND SOUL!” (Entertainment Weekly). And under its uproarious surface (six feet under, to be exact), it’s a remarkably touching show about family, love, and making the most of every Day-O!
When I first heard that Beetlejuice was going to become a musical, I was very excited to see how would be adapted into a stage show. I’ve heard so many good things about the Broadway show and when I saw it was coming to Detroit I knew I didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity. I’m glad to say that this musical didn’t disappoint.
First off, you should know that the musical does share some similar moments from the 1988 film, but for the most part, it deviates from the original source. This gave the show a fresh and unique take on a fan-favorite movie. Once the musical gets started from the first song (after the prologue) you know you’re in for a good time. Beetlejuice is a character himself and he made me and the whole audience laugh throughout the entire show. Like in the film, he catches you off guard with outlandish jokes or strange outbursts that keep the whole show entertaining.
Let this be said that this is also more of an adult musical than a family-friendly show. If you don’t care for raunchy or adult humor this show, be a turnoff for you. I appreciated how the show captures the essence of why this film is such a fan favorite. As the synopsis states, while it’s a show about the supernatural and death, there are so many tender moments surrounding the theme of family and overcoming grief.
The special effects were mind-blowing (be advised if you are sensitive to smoke effects and flashing lights). The set designs were amazing as well. They managed to bring the Barbara & Adams house to life, as well as the Netherworlds. In between these scenes, they were able to make use of the stage space with small sets or special projections to add to the atmosphere.
On top of everything the cast chemistry was excellent! They played well off one another and kept the audience invested in the show. The standouts were Lydia (Isabella Esler), Beetlejuice (Justin Collette), and Delia (Kate Marilley). A few of my personal highlights were the sandworm prop and an unexpected solo song from a minor character. My favorite songs were Say My Name, The Whole “Being Dead” Thing, and That Beautiful Sound.
If Beetlejuice The Musical makes its way to your town, don’t miss out on this frighteningly entertaining musical.