Beetlejuice – 33 reasons for a trip to the Netherworld!

Written by Jade Prince

(Spoilers may or may not be encountered)

That is your warning. Enjoy 🙂

1. Love for the 1988 film 

It’s a classic. It’s loved by all ages. A prime example of the old ones being the best! It’s creepy, funny and manic with the musical capturing it all!

2. Winter Garden Theatre

It’s a stunning theatre which has housed some huge shows including Cats and School of Rock. The theatre has now been given a new lease of life in the Netherworld. All the kooky music and lighting! From the moment you enter the theatre, you are transported to the Netherworld.

Side note: If we get a physical cast album, can the pre-show music been a bonus feature?! That would be the theme song of my apartment!

3. The cast recording (out now! Go buy/stream!!)

On. Repeat. For. Days.

Sometimes cast recordings don’t stand alone however this one is very comfortable out there! All the little details are included but more importantly you can listen to that insanely talented cast whenever you want!

Its a buffet of different styles. As clichĂ© as it sounds, Eddie Perfect (Music & Lyrics) is living up to his name…PERFECT! *cringe* There, we said it.

Out now! Go get it! I’d say ‘go listen to it right now’ but finish reading, first. After 🙂 

4. The fabulous, loving cast

(Reminder: meeting the cast at stage door is not a given when you purchase a ticket for the show. Don’t be a dick if they don’t come out. Treat them with love and respect…simple!)

I have been fortunate enough to meet pretty much the whole cast at stage door and I can say, hand on my heart, I have never met a cast who have been that welcoming, humble and polite at stage door. The time they give to the fans following the show is heartwarming. It’s a rare sight. They do 8 shows a week and normally have packed schedules in between.

But it’s not just meeting fans. You can really see they love and respect each other as a cast. This shines through on stage making their performance a joy to watch!

5. Sophia Anne Caruso 

For those who have seen her perform, you know the deal. She’s a star!

For for those who haven’t seen the show or heard that name, straight off the bat, get used to hearing that name because she is gonna be big! At 17, she has more professionalism than most people who have been in the business for year! Her performance was flawless. Vocally perfect and consistent each time I’ve seen her perform.

As Lydia, she broke my heart in act 2. The vulnerability and pain penetrated that auditorium. The first time I saw the show, even in the very back row of the mezzanine, she made me wince.

That’ll be something that stays with me for a long time.

Sophia is such a diverse actress and so wonderfully displays all the different layers to Lydia.

6. The merchandise

Broadway does it better! Sorry, west end.

They’ve got everything covered. I walked out with far too much. I have a problem.

There’s the standard T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and magnets however it is the only place where breathers can pick up their very own copy of the ‘Handbook for the Recently Deceased’

7. The crew 

Show crews never get enough respect! We wanna give them some love!

The types of scene changes these guys do are incredible! And the audience never hears a peep! I know that sounds really weird to pick up on but I have seen big professional shows where you can hear the crew thumping around backstage. Little things like this appease me.

8. Costumes 

William Ivey Long has remained loyal to the film but has managed to put a brand-new spin on the style! Although the silhouettes appear very standard, up close they are stunning works of art. The layering of fabrics and colours can easily be overlooked. I urge you to take a moment and really look when you see the show.

Scenes to focus on are the opening number and Lydia’s dress in the finale. During the opening number, the mourners are obviously shrouded in black however the fabric has been selected with such precision. William Ivey Long has layered fabric upon fabric to add extra dimension and to provide the Burton-esque package. During an interview, Sophia Anne Caruso revealed that there are hidden undertones of blue in her finale dress and the link this has to a beetle’s shell.

It really is fascinating and such an important element of the show!

9. Big Sandy

We love Big Sandy! Retaining the icon look from the film, she only appears a handful of times during the show but is definitely a scene-stealer!

10. Female power

Lydia, Barbara and Delia are three strong women and make an awesome trio! Each character is going through their own struggles but still push forward to make the best of their current situation.

They take control.

11. Hilarious one-liners

The script to this show is another level. The years of editing and tweaking have truly paid off. It has been crafted so meticulously with comedy woven throughout. I have never known a script to provide so many memorable one-liners.

12. Lydia taking centre stage 

The plot follows the same path as the movie however a slight change of focus has been made. The movie plot focused on Beetlejuice as the lead character whereas the musical has bumped Lydia from a supporting character to the lead and she even takes the final bow!

Lydia’s grief is explored in more detail and it is clearer to see the impact losing her mother has had.

But fear not hard core fans of the film! Beetlejuice has far more stage time than the film!

13. Day-O

Can you even have Beetlejuice without Day-O?!

14. Shake, shake, shake.

Oh, or shake, shake, shake, Senora!

15. All the magic! 

There are so many awesome illusions and effects dotted throughout the show. From fire, to puppets, to pyro, all of this combined with the show’s other elements is a feast for the eyes!

16. Levitation 

Linking in with the previous point, cast members actually levitate. It is quiet literally a no-strings-attached kind of deal!

17. All the iconic movie scenes and lines

You get them all. The Deetz arriving in the Maitland’s house. The dinner scene. Entering the Netherworld. Even the set up of the finale is pretty much identical to the film! But it all has its very own unique and modernised twist.

Since seeing Beetlejuice on Broadway, I have re-watched the film and had my little mind blown by just how many lines are kept in the musical script!

18. The beloved characters returning 

It’s a quirky family!

19. The new characters 

They slip straight in. A natural fit!

20. Alex Brightman 

Has there ever been a guy as sweet, genuine and kind?

No. No there hasn’t. A rare gem in the industry.

The level of energy he brings to Beetlejuice is exhausting to watch but you can’t look away! He commands your attention. The whole character of Beetlejuice feels brand-new with his interpretation.

We have so much love and respect for Alex!

21. Character development 

This was the element where the film lacked the most. Along with the change in lead characters, every character has been focused on in order to see their development from start to finish. The most obvious is Beetlejuice and Lydia. You can now see Beetlejuice go on this chaotic journey where he desperately wants to be alive and accepted by people but is using all the wrong techniques to win people over. You can see little glimmers of him learning how to deal with the living.

With Lydia, you can see she is struggling to deal with the loss of her mother and is also desperately seeking for something to make her complete. An inner strength is found.

I adore the character development of Delia and the information about her past which is dropped here and there during the show. Some laugh out loud moments!

22. Tackling topics such as mental health and grief 

Mental health is more discussed nowadays however it still has a long way to go. Beetlejuice shows how grief and mental health can come as a pair but also how it can be overlooked for younger people suffering.

Death is obviously very prominent in the show and is typically a taboo subject in society which everyone avoids. Beetlejuice the musical has this awesome ability to show that it should be discussed, it shouldn’t be as feared and that we should be grabbing/cherishing every single moment life gives us.

23. Lyrics

They’re clever, witty and memorable. But they also have this ability to evoke so many emotions. One moment they’ll have you on this high, chuckling away and the next completely shatter your heart. The heart shattering moments do not last long before you are swept up on another high!

But bottom line is, you’re gonna leave the show with the lyrics stuck in your head! That’s a given!

24. The message delivered in the show 

It’s heartwarming. Everyone will take a different message away but for me, the message I got was life is far too short. You need to take the rough with the smooth and when it is difficult, you need to buckle down, find the good and keep going.

Happiness is up to me!

25. The set

It’s big and crazy just like Beetlejuice! The main set goes through 4 different changes during the show. And it’s HUGE! In between all of that you have the small set pieces. It’s all so beautiful to look at! So much has been packed into the set and hidden away. They’re are bits that catch you off guard and you feel like a little kid again!

The transitions between sets are also really impressive!

26. Girl Scout 

Ooh, I’m gonna sell some cookies!

Dana Steingold is as cute as a button!

27. It’s ability to take current taboo topics and make light of them 

It’s a dark show. The topics it touches upon are dark so dark comedy is a must!

This dark comedy does touch even boundary and goes straight for those current issues. It’s unapologetic. So many people hide away from that kind of stuff but sometime it is best just to laugh about it and you most certainly will!

28. Tim Burton-vibes all over the place (obviously required!)

Beetlejuice the musical still screams Tim Burton!

The world of Tim Burton has been unleashed on that stage and I am living for it!

29. F*ck Brigadoon

Sometimes you just need one person to say what everyone else is thinking! Ha!

30. Vocals

Oh. My. word.

Listening to them on the cast recording is brilliant but it is a whole new experience being in the room and hearing that cast live!

31. Say goodbye to that 4th wall

I must admit, I normally do not enjoy this. Mainly because when the 4th wall is removed, it is done excessively and very quickly becomes boring. I’m over it. However, the way Beetlejuice does it is perfect in every way!

I can only recall Beetlejuice himself removing the 4th wall…oh, actually there is one other moment which could count but that is numerous character all on stage at once. Having one character remove the 4th wall is great especially when the character is Beetlejuice. It is a really nice touch and highlights the fact that he is not part of that world. He has this ability to see the ‘real’ world on stage but also the audience.

32. That feel good ending! *I could cry*

A feel-good number to end the show is most certainly needed considering the dark topics/humour. I love a show with a finale that elevates you to an all-time high where you could cry with happiness. This show does that for me!

The lyrics really get to me along with the stunning harmonies and structure of the song.

Random fact: My two favourite shows (Beetlejuice and In the Heights) end with the lyrics “I’m home’. I always need a moment after thinking about that. 

33. It’s a complete sucks-YES!!!

 

Have we covered everything?! Let us know why YOU love the show!

 

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