Betelgeuse; Immortality is Debilitating


Olivia Crandall

The cast of James L. Nederlander’s Betelgeuse takes a final bow to a sold-out audience at the Marriott Marquis Theater Sept. 3.

  James L. Nederlander’s production of Betelgeuse takes a positive spin on death and indulges in a variety of possibilities for the afterlife. The musical is based on the successful Tim Burton-directed 1988 dark comedy. The musical interpretation reached Broadway in 2019.

  Alex Brightman, the two-time Tony-nominated actor, plays Beetlejuice, and he keeps the audience engaged.

  The musical holds similarities to the movie and incorporates modern humor while telling the story of a girl, longing for her lost mother, which attracts the help of the dead.

  Green and purple strobe lights swallow the audience and bring them into a witty world where Beetlejuice longs to be seen.

  The action brilliantly incorporates gags, one-liners, and eye-widening visuals. Each character has their own way of making the audience laugh and filling the big stage.

  The scenes and different sets swiftly move from large sweeping sets, to small confining rooms. From a bright living room, to the dusty basement and the cold rooftop, each set is filled with surprises.

  Beetlejuice, known for not having many friends, seems to connect with all of the 1,611 members of the Marquis Theater audience through gags and laughter.

  Beetlejuice, of course, interacts with the audience making it more captivating and engaging. The character brilliantly works his lines by matching them with people in the audience, such as, pointing out children or saying, “This guy gets it!” Whatever the line, he has an eye out for who to say it to. When addressing a couple, he adds in the comment, “All these ghosts. And I still can’t find a boo.”

  The show is also family friendly. Of course, it would not be Beetlejuice without the dinner scene. As the cast becomes possessed, the entire theater is entranced by the “Banana Boat Song”. The scene is full of action, colorful lights and chaos.

  Beetlejuice has a substantial story to tell that seems to be all dark, death and sadness, with a horrifying character that could kill you, but actually he really