Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse! We now have the first look and teaser trailer for Beetlejuice: The Musical. The Musical. The Musical coming to Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre in March 2019 before officially opening on April 25th, 2019.
As highlighted in the teaser for the musical, directed by Tony nominated director Alex Timbers (Broadway’s Peter and The Starcatcher), the world of the “ghost with the most” promises to come to the Winter Garden Theatre with the spirit and visual flare of Tim Burton in tact.
Its immediate upon watching the trailer that Burton’s visual style and otherworldly sensibilities were made for the live theatrical experience. From the trailer’s whimsical introduction, it’s evident that the musical brings to life Burton’s 1988 classic with delight, fandom and care. In regards to story, director Alex Timbers whose credits also include the musicals Rocky and Pee-Wee Herman Live, asserts that the live play will differ in regards to who’s story is being told.
Whereas the original film was very much focused on a young deceased couple’s own life awakening in death and the manic and boundless personality of Michael Keaton’s title character, the story of the teenage girl Lydia was never deeply explored. Other than being an outsider and surrogate daughter to the young ghosts she befriends, her New York narrative was never known. Burton’s film was not her story but rather that of the ghosts.
As shared by Timbers with EW, “refocusing the story on Lydia’s emotional journey, Lydia’s relationship to Beetlejuice — who were [both] more like secondary characters in the film — felt like a great way in,” explains Timbers. “Beetlejuice and Lydia are both trickster figures, in a way. Certainly Beetlejuice is, but musical theater has a great history of con men as characters when you think about Bialystock and Bloom or Harold Hill in The Music Man, so it felt to me that the DNA of those two characters felt like great musical theater protagonists in the way they work off each other.”
Based on this story premise, images from its pre-broadway run in DC, and the official teaser poster featuring Tony nominee Alex Brightman (Broadway’s School of Rock) as Betelgeuse, it seems that I need to find my way to Broadway come spring.