You Heard It Here First. Beetlejuice the Musical Is Better Than the Movie.

In the Broadway adaptation of the Tim Burton classic, Lydia takes center stage. It works.
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Say it with me, people: Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! It's showtime, baby.

If you're unfamiliar with the goings-on in the wide world of Broadway, Tim Burton's 1988 classic, Beetlejuice, now has a Broadway adaptation. Adapting the story of a deceased couple who task a gaggle of ghosts (notably, Michael Keaton's Beetlejuice) with haunting another couple that moved into their home, the show hit quite a few obstacles in its early life. Beetlejuice first began with a run in Washington, D.C., in Oct. 2018, then it made its Broadway debut at the Winter Garden Theatre in April 2019. Beetlejuice was scheduled to close in June 2020 due to contract obligations, but closed prematurely in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the show made its way back to Broadway's Marquis Theatre this past April. After recently seeing the production myself, I'm here to tell you: Beetlejuice the musical is better than the film. Horrifying! I know. But hear me out.

First of all, you should know that the show's story is more or less still the same. It's just been modernized a bit. Similar to the film, the showtunified Beetlejuice's provocative gags will having you laughing the whole time. You might even catch a few political undertones. The original cast's Alex Brightman plays lead demon/conman, and it's easy to see why was the perfect casting choice from the start. Not only is the man a talented singer and actor, but his comedic timing and delivery always hits. But it's the biggest difference between the two Beetlejuices that makes the Broadway show truly special. In the musical? Beetlejuice isn't necessarily the main character. In fact, it's Charles Deetz's daughter, Lydia, who is the center of the plot.

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While watching this take on Beetlejuice, you're taken on Lydia's journey, learning how invisible she feels to the world. As a depressed, mourning teenager, her mental health isn't really taken seriously. Lydia desperately wants her father to show some sort of emotion around her mother's passing but he's more concerned with moving on and finding a new partner. In Lydia's story, Beetlejuice takes a major theme from Burton's work and triples its resonance. Now, since the show revolves around Lydia and her quest to find happiness since her mom passed away, it must've been tough to find the right person for the part.

Opposed to Brightman's place as a fixture in the production, we've seen multiple actresses take on Lydia. When the show first debuted, Sophia Anne Caruso took over the role of strange and unusual teenager. She crushed it. Caruso was the show's standout putting a punk-rock twist on the character's voice. Her solo track, "Dead Mom," is popular among fans of the show for good reason, racking up 30 million streams on Spotify. Caruso left the show in February 2020 to pursue a career in TV and film. Caruso's understudy, Presley Ryan, filled for roughly two weeks until the world locked down. When Beetlejuice returned to Broadway this April, its success damn near hinged on whether or not the newest Lydia could steal audience's hearts. Well, meet Elizabeth Teeter. Her take on the depressed teen is (a bit ironically!) wonderfully emotive, expressing every little thing the character is going through to the people in the very back of the theater.

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Listen, I don't want to steal too much of the show's magic away from you by spoiling any of its surprises. But trust me: if there's anything you splurge for this Halloween season, make it a ticket to see the ghost with the most.

FromEsquire US

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Lexi Carson
Lexi Carson is a writer from Orlando, Florida, with an interest in movies, music and culture.
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