Beetlejuice may be a show about death, but thanks to book writers Anthony King and Scott Brown, the musical pulses with heart.
“In a musical, there have to be emotional reasons to sing and so we wanted to get to the core of what drives these characters,” King told Playbill on opening night. “We grabbed on to this parallel thing that all of us can feel invisible ... and there is a common bond between Beetlejuice and Lydia in our show.”
For Brown, he learned the power of emotion onstage when he saw a production of In Trousers. “It just blew my mind,” he says in the video above. “It was the first William Finn show I’d ever seen. It was a black box college production. It opened up emotional channels I didn’t know were there.”
But Beetlejuice, true to its Warner Bros. predecessor, packs a punch with the comedy. “Once we had our cast there were so many things we started writing toward them because they all have such great comic timing,” said King. “I feel like almost everything Leslie Kritzer says in the show we were like, ‘Oh, we're just going to feed this machine.’ She is a comedy beast.”
And Brown and King brought the comedy chops to feed it. Hear more from Brown in the video above, and more from the duo on Beetlejuice’s opening below: