After COVID Cancellation, Beetlejuice Musical Will Return to Haunt Broadway

 

You just can’t keep a beloved ghost dead: Beetlejuice is coming back to haunt Broadway, with a return engagement of the increasingly popular musical taking possession of Broadway’s Marriott Marquis Theatre on Friday, April 8, 2022.

 

Casting will be announced later, Deadline reports.

 

“We sincerely thank the Beetlejuice fans,” said producers Mark Kaufman (Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures) and Kevin McCormick (Langley Park Productions). “It is because of their support that we will be able to blow the roof off the Marquis Theatre three-times over with fun and laughter, laughter and laughter!”

 

The producers aren’t exaggerating about the fan power: Beetlejuice, which got off to a relatively slow start when it opened at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre in April 2019, with both box office and critics’ review rather hit and miss. But a funny thing happened on the way to the haunting: Over the following summer, ticketbuyers began to materialize, seats started filling. Perhaps the biggest word-of-mouth success of its era, Beetlejuice seemed like a surefire candidate for Broadway longevity, due in large part to its popular stars Sophia Anne Caruso and, especially, Alex Brightman as the mischievous hipster ghost.

 

But the business uptick was, apparently, too little too late for the Shubert Organization, which cited the early sluggishness at the box office as cause for evicting the musical to make way for the upcoming mega-production of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and produced by Scott Rudin, who used to be pretty mega himself.

 

Beetlejuice was set to play its final performance on June 6 2020, with the Covid pandemic shutdown of March 2020 nixing both the last few months of its intended run and rumors of a quick return and venue change.

 

Beetlejuice‘s growing fanbase was not happy with any of it, with lots of “Ok, Boomer” memes making the point that the youthful-skewing Beetlejuice was being exorcised to make way for a longer-in-the-tooth classic musical from Broadway’s Golden Age. Internet rumors and wishful thinking combined to keep Beetlejuice alive throughout the pandemic shutdown. A “Save Beetlejuice” Change.org petition eventually garnered more than 36,000 signatures.

 

The original Beetlejuice was a black comedy / horror film directed by Tim Burton that starred Michael Keaton and was released in 1988, thirty three years ago.

Meghan Murphy

Geeking out through mental illness. Mom. Wife. Freelance writer. Pear shaped. I espouse very strong opinions on comic books and popular culture. If your wisdom is "conventional," it's probably wrong.

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