As a fan of the classic movie, “Beetlejuice,” I was excited to see how it translated on stage…and as a musical to boot!…and the show’s opening night at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando exceeded my expectations with great performances from the cast and a hilarious loosely adapted story based on the movie.
It shouldn’t have been so funny, considering, as Beetlejuice sings to audiences at the top of the musical, “It’s a show about death.”
But it’s really much more than that, encompassing not only death, but the way people cope with grief of the loss and the loneliness that ensues.
Yet Scott Brown and Anthony King’s book and Eddie Perfect’s music and lyrics meld to turn a melancholy subject into an energetic pop-filled evening of irreverent jokes and bawdy dance numbers that just seems to hit the spot the majority of the evening.
Kudos to leads Justin Collette as the gregarious title character and Isabella Esler as his living foil Lydia Deetz, who had amazing voices and seemed to be having so much fun with their roles.
Will Burton and Britney Coleman played the ghostly couple of Adam and Barbara with equal parts charm and guilelessness, leaning full on into the physical comedy of their roles.
And I need to single out understudy Lexie Dorsett Sharp who stepped into the role of Delia on opening night like she’d been playing it all tour. She was just the right amount of boisterous and ditzy.
“Beetlejuice The Musical. The Musical. The Musical.” closes out the 2022-23 Broadway in Orlando season at Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on a very high note.
A few tickets remain for the remainder of its Orlando run, BUT if you can’t make it this weekend, it’s also worth a road trip to catch it at the Straz Center in Tampa, where it will run October 24 – October 29, 2023.
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