The 5 Best twists in the new "Beetlejuice" Broadway Musical

Since its debut in 1989, Beetlejuice, has delighted and disturbed fans, and the new Broadway musical is no exception. Beetlejuice: The Musical! The Musical! The Musical! is currently running previews in Broadway’s Winter Garden Theater. According to Playbill.com, the show’s full previews started March 25th and will run for a total of nine shows until the official opening night on April 25th. I was incredibly lucky to snag tickets for the April 6th preview and found the show thoroughly enjoyable. The following are five of the best moments from the new musical!

  1. 1. The sound itself is ‘strange and unusual’ ( and long overdue! )

    Speaking of the music, the songs range from stirring ballads to rock within seconds, constantly juxtaposing the idea of pious ‘musical theater’. Alex Brightman’s Beetlejuice has a rough-and-tumble, unpolished rock-and-roll sound, while Sophia Anne Caruso’s Lydia has an ethereal voice that is reminiscent of pop-punk singer-songwriters that combine to make a distinct and interesting sound that often spills over the line between 2000’s emo music and pop-rock. Although there are plenty of ‘fun’ musicals, no other show is more a lively, and absurdly fun than this one. What other musical could sound so angsty and alive discussing dead moms? Currently, only two songs have been released on the show’s social media pages, but with recent box office success, we can all hope for a cast album in the future.

  2. 2. Like most things from my tween years, it’s gayer than expected.

    2019 is probably starting as one of the best years for queer representation in media, and although there is no big conversation about those in Beetlejuice, it is chalk full of ambiguous sexuality and homoeroticism that amplify the hedonistic deviance expected of some bastard hell spawn. It was refreshing to see a fun show, use these elements of label-less queer-nes without the typical heaviness and sobriety carried by other musicals that focus on the subject. Although Beetlejuice is overtly and often inappropriately sexual, it was refreshing to see something a little closer to the ‘who cares’ attitude spreading across most progressive areas. This musical makes no statements, and hell, they might be using these moments for cheap laughs, but thematically it feels right. Everyone understands gay and lesbian, but people (or demons, I don’t discriminate here) that freely pinwheel between any and all forms of people? They’re invisible, ignored, and misunderstood: everything at the heart of both Lydia, the Maitlands, and Beetlejuice’s problems. The embeded video is the newest railer, and fetures one related moment: be trust me there are pleanty more!

  3. 3. F- is for "family" but also 'failure'

    Unlike the distant father and oppressive mother in the Tim Burton film, the musical focuses on Lydia after the untimely and tragic death of her mother, someone who never requested Lydia change her strangeness or compromise her sense of self in any way. Amidst the irreverent humor and fantastical production elements, there is a very real story of a grieving family struggling with trying to move on—and there just so happens to be ghosts and demons. Even the chaotic antagonist, Beetlejuice, himself has a few lines playfully referencing an absent father and potentially abusive demon of a mother, often placed inappropriately. The lines solicit laughs yet land seriously in conjunction with Lydia’s own distressed state of being, which is emphasized in the above song.

  4. 4. Set design that would make any 2000’s emo kid proud

    Everything anyone’s ever loved about the absurdly silly and intensely gothic Tim Burton aesthetic is represented here. Black and white stripes? You got it! Incredibly detailed and decrepit Victorian house on a hill? You got it! Sandworms? YES, THAT’S RIGHT, SANDWORMS. Longtime friends know I have a penchant for adoring absurd fictional animals, and the terrifying stop-motion sandworms from the 1988 film are no exception. They’re creepy, yet colorful and sometimes HAVE SMALLER SANDWORMS inside them. It’s the world’s first two-in-one pet! Well, if you can get past the entire “eating departed souls for breakfast and lunch” thing. Aside from my love of sandworms, (which can be seen in the new broadway trailer), the set design is edgy and reminds me what Hot Topic would be like as a slightly more sophisticated piece of performance art.

  5. 5. The Biggest Twist: Affordable Tickets

    I’m not being paid or promoted for writing this or anything, but if you enjoy irreverent and dark humor, you need to see this show. This is one of the few musicals I’ve seen that translates well for people outside the traditional Broadway audience. Right now, for some of the remaining preview shows, you can get orchestra seats for a reduced price online starting at $69, or if you’re in the city and looking for some fun, you can always compete in the show’s lottery. This happens every Tuesday during previews, wherein two names will be picked from the lottery to play a game of Beetlejuice trivia to buy a pair of heavily discounted tickets at $33.33. At the end of the game show, which is hosted by a cast member, 14 other people will also be chosen to buy a pair of tickets at this special price. There is also now, a digital lottery for those who don't want to commit to an in-city-trip without the tickets. To enter this head over to www.Beetlejuicelottery.com. Much like the in-persoin lottery winners can purchase two tictets for $43 (slightly higher for the online ocnviencance). Unlike the in-person lottery the online version draws twice, at 9am for matinee shows and 2pm for evening shows. And let me tell you, I did not get such a price (even with a discount) I still paid well over these ammounts per ticket. The suces of these sytsems helps make broadway accessable: which might be the key to this show's sucess.