Halloween season just became noteworthy! A musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” is set to debut in Washing D.C. this October, with hopes of haunting Broadway soon thereafter.
Warner Bros. Theater Ventures along with Langley Park Productions is producing the Alex Timbers directed musical.
“Beetlejuice” debuted in movie theaters in 1988. Winning awards for best make up (61st Academy Awards), best visual effects and makeup (42nd British Academy Film Awards) and best horror film (1988 Saturn Awards), “Beetlejuice” also spawned an animated television series (1989-1991). While “Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian” has yet to crossover into the land of the living, there is new hope for those fed up with reading dry afterlife directions from the “Handbook for the Recently Deceased,” Beetlejuice is coming back! Live and undead, a new musical comedy is rising from the grave.
Washington’s National Theater will host the ghost with the most for a fiendishly fun fall musical production that has been in the works since 2016 (as we reported in in August that year). In addition to his fall production of another musical (“King Kong”), Eddie Perfect provides musical manifestations for this comedic ghost story.
“Lock up your kids, folks, he’s back! Beetlejuice is ruder, raunchier and frankly, more repellant than ever in this original musical based on Tim Burton’s wonderfully demented film. Directed by Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher), BEETLEJUICE has it all — exorcism, arranged marriages and an adorable girl scout who gets scared out of her wits. It’s the perfect musical to see after a long hard day-o” – Beetlejuice Broadway website
Taking a different path through the afterlife, the show will center more on afterlife aficionado Lydia Deetz. The ghosts of Adam and Barbara Maitland, Delia Deetz, Charles Deetz, and, of course bio-exorcist extraordinaire Beetlejuice will be a part of this whimsical ride as well. In addition, patrons should expect more crude humor in this theater adaptation.
“One of the things we’re focusing on is the emotional story of the character of Lydia, who has an interesting inverted arc — she’s a living girl obsessed with death, and Betelgeuse is a dead figure obsessed with life” – Alex Timbers (as told to the New York Times)
Costuming will be under the control of William Ivey Long (“Cabaret,” “The Producers”) and sets supervised by David Korins (“Hamilton”). Disney theatrical veterans Peter Hylenski (“Frozen”) and Michael Curry (“The Lion King”) will manage sound design (Peter Hylenski) and puppet design (Michael Curry). “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” special effects wizard Jeremy Chernick will be bringing his fx magic to the production.
“Beetlejuice The Musical” will be directed by Alex Timbers with musical direction Kris Kukul (score by Eddie Perfect) and book by Scott Brown and Anthony King.
While Alex Brightman assumed the role of Beetlejuice for readings and workshops leading up to the production, an official cast announcement has yet to materialize.