We have our first look at Tony nominee Alex Brightman (School of Rock) donning the striped, tattered suit of the mischievous demon Beetlejuice for the upcoming Broadway musical! The image comes courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, showing a “younger, punkier” take on the character, who was played by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s 1988 film.
Director Alex Timbers says Brightman went through multiple costume tests before they landed on the right look for their on-stage version. Here is a clip from the EW article of what Timbers had to say about Brightman’s Beetlejuice:
“One of the things I love about Alex is, not only is he a great theater performer, but he’s also a writer, so he brings a sensibility that can stand outside the performance,” Timbers told EW. “[His Beetlejuice] is definitely not a Michael Keaton impression. It’s his own. It’s filtered through the sensibility of Alex Brightman.”
Check out the first image of Alex Brightman as Beetlejuice:
The story of Beetlejuice revolves around the Deetz family who move into a new home, which they soon discover is haunted by the previous family who lived there. To make things even more complicated, the trouble-making demon Beetlejuice makes it his mission to terrorize both families.
The on-stage version is said to be “refocusing” more on the teenage Deetz daughter Lydia, who will be played by 17-year-old Sophia Anne Caruso. The relationship between Lydia and Beetlejuice will be brought to the forefront of the story. Timbers explains his love of musical theater’s history of con men characters; thinking Beetlejuice is a perfect fit for a lively, fourth-wall-breaking lead.
The musical is set to feature an original score by Eddie Perfect (King Kong), along with a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King. The musical is said to be taking inspiration from the Tim Burton film’s art direction, while putting its own original spin on the play’s aesthetics.
Timbers told EW, “The dinner party scene is in the show, but where it exists and how it functions and how the music functions is surprising.” There will also be film Easter eggs for fans to keep an eye out for.
This show sounds like it’s shaping up to be one lively time with the dead! The Beetlejuice musical is currently in previews at Washington’s National Theatre. The show is slated to open there on November 4th, and then possess Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre in March where it will raise the dead with an official opening on April 25th.