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Beetlejuice musical announces pre-Broadway tune-up

Contributed by
Mar 28, 2018

Beetlejuice is being resurrected for the boards.

A stage musical based on Tim Burton’s classic supernatural comedy about everyone’s favorite misbehavin' ghost who exorcises the living will have its world premiere engagement in October at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Produced by Mark Kaufman for Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Kevin McCormick for Langley Park Productions, Beetlejuice: The Musical clearly has Broadway in its sights given the heavy creative hitters involved.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the show will be helmed by two-time Tony nominee Alex Timbers, one of today’s most sought-after directors who made his rep as an innovator on Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Star Catcher, and Rocky.

Australian composer Eddie Perfect, who’s working on an upcoming stage adaptation of King Kong for next season, is aboard to write music and lyrics. The book, meanwhile, will be co-written by Scott Brown and Anthony King based on the screen story by Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson. Joining them on the production are key creative personnel from such vaunted shows as Hamilton, The Producers, Kinky Boots, Dear Evan Hansen, and The Lion King.

Beetlejuice: The Musical will tell the morbidly comic tale of goth teenager Lydia Deetz, who befriends Barbara and Adam Maitland, a ghost couple haunting the home she and her pretentious parents have moved into not long after their untimely demise. Hoping to scare away the interlopers, the Maitlands say his name three times and summon the irascible Beetlejuice, aka the self-proclaimed “ghost with the most” who, much to their chagrin, runs wild and tries to take Lydia as his bride for all eternity.

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Released in 1988, Beetlejuice was a box-office hit starring Michael Keaton as the titular rule-breaking demon, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the Maitlands, Winona Ryder as Lydia, and Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara as Lydia’s dad and stepmom.

No word yet on casting or exact performance dates. But Beetlejuice isn’t the only Warner property getting a tune-up.

The studio’s theatrical division is ramping up stage versions of its 1993 Kevin Kline comedy Dave, which will debut at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., on July 13. Other projects in development include a musical based on Chevy Chase’s classic National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, dubbed Broadway Vacation, and works adapted from Dog Day Afternoon, A Star Is Born, and 17 Again.