Hello! My sister, Kristen, and I enjoyed an evening on the town this past Saturday to see Beetlejuice at Playhouse Square. As a busy mother of two, it has been so long since Kristen and I have been able to hang out alone and it was awesome to spend that quality time with her. We were both really excited to see Beetlejuice and the musical was pretty good but the sisters night out was even better. Take a look at some pics and let’s get into the review:
If you go to Beetlejuice expecting a musical directly from the plot of the beloved film, then don’t. Lol this show definitely took some liberties to the story line and turned it into something way more convoluted than it had to be. Long story short: The show opens with Lydia’s mom dying, Adam and Barbara Maitland die via electric shock, Lydia’s broken family moves into the Maitland home, and cue Beetlejuice.
As the play continues, we learn that Lydia is desperate to see her mom again and uses her new friends, the Maitlands, to “haunt” the house so she can move back into her family home. We also find out that Beetlejuice is sick of being dead and is using Lydia and the Maitlands to return to the land of the living. The plot moves forward as one character outsmarts the other until the end of the show, ending with happily ever after.
To be honest, the plot left a lot to be desired and what could have been a fairly straightforward show felt bogged down with all of the extra. It was also difficult to keep tabs on everything that was happening because the songs weren’t particularly memorable. There were some numbers like “Say My Name” and “That Beautiful Sound” that were fun enough but they were mainly poppy songs and ballads that were entertaining to watch but just didn’t stick.
Where Beetlejuice shined and kept my attention was the production value, which, as to be expected with any Playhouse Square show, was amazing. Although the lights were at times blinding, the rock n’ roll show motif of green, purple, and white lighting looked very cool. The set for the Maitland home was great and the sandworms weren’t bad, either! Dancing skeletons, horror gags, fire, and smoke throughout the show also assisted in keeping me on my toes.
In terms of acting, there were some stand out performances and others that have already been forgotten. Adam and Barbara (Will Burton, Britney Coleman), for example, didn’t get as much time on stage as I had hoped for as they are such a special part of the movie. The running joke in the musical is that they are “boring” and they seriously were lol. Their two or so songs were cute enough but that was about it.
A thorn in my side throughout the show was Delia (Kate Marilley) who sang well but was just so annoying! In the musical, she is Lydia’s life coach and is, unbeknownst to Lydia, sleeping with her dad as opposed to being her new step mom in the movie. Kate Marilley could sing really well but participated in all of the pet peeves I have for a newer musical. She was definitely the character who was there specifically to use lingo like “woke” and dab for laughs and that is something I truly can’t stand. I would have much preferred to see Delia as the snooty step mom rather than Lydia’s wannabe bestie.
Recent high school graduate, Isabella Esler, did fantastic as Lydia on her Broadway debut. She had a great voice and was able to hold her own on stage well enough. I thought she was a bit stronger when performing with others as opposed to her solo numbers. Justin Collette as Beetlejuice was certainly the glue that held the show together and his songs with Lydia were adorable. Collette was brash, crass, and hilarious as the title character. Thankfully, he was on stage almost the entire time because the scenes where he lacked were lackluster, at best.
This seems like a bad review and in some ways it is and it isn’t. I still had fun watching the show and I thought it was worth seeing. It just wasn’t what I was expecting and I think diehard fans of the movie might feel disappointed by it. Was Beetlejuice the best show I have seen at Playhouse Square? No. However, it made for a perfect sisters night out and that is what’s most important at the end of the day!
Have you seen the Beetlejuice musical? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah