Ghosts, demons, life coaches, and even a Girl Scout have taken over Broadway, as Beetlejuice haunts the Winter Garden Theatre beginning March 28. Ahead of the new musical’s Main Stem bow, the stars chatted with Playbill to discuss the thrills, chills, jokes, heart, and humor in store for audiences.
“This might be the most fun I have ever had on a stage,” admits Alex Brightman, who takes on the title role of the bio-exorcist demon. “This is a show that does not exist on Broadway, and it hasn’t existed. Because in its nature, it’s truly absurd.”
What makes the iconic horror-comedy a natural fit for the Great White Way? “Tim Burton was so visual and bold and dramatic with the film, and I think it translates really well onto the stage,” says Sophia Anne Caruso, starring alongside Brightman as Lydia. The stage adaptation, penned by composer Eddie Perfect and book writers Scott Brown and Anthony King, focuses on Beetlejuice and Lydia and their paradoxical fascinations with life and death, respectively. Caruso continues, “They’re two really great protagonists; they make a very good pair.”
Burton die-hards will get the antics of the film, from wacky sculptures to Underworld receptionists. Audiences will get “magic and ghosts and all of these mystical things,” promises Leslie Kritzer, the musical’s Deelia Deetz. “It’s just waiting to be musicalized…and also to bring it heart and love. This team brought so much more into it.”
Tony nominee Rob McClure concurs as he steps into Alec Baldwin’s shoes to play new-to-the-afterlife Adam. “Fans of the film are going to get everything they crave, just not in the way they expect to get it.”
Beyond a set that’s a character of its own and a bevy of practical effects, Brightman pinpoints one reason Beetlejuice is a can’t-miss spring offering: “There is a performance by Sophia Anne Caruso that you are literally not going to want to miss. It’s a star-making performance, and you can get to be in a theatre and go, ‘I remember when I saw the second she became world-famous.’”
Beetlejuice, directed by Alex Timbers, also features Kerry Butler, Adam Dannheisser, Jill Abramovitz, Kelvin Moon Loh, Danny Rutigliano, and Dana Steingold. Opening night is set for April 25.