Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour

The tour will haunt 27 cities across North America with more dates to be announced.

By: Dec. 21, 2022
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Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour
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The North American Tour of Beetlejuice the Musical kicked off this month in Paducah, KY, before its official launch at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, CA. The tour will haunt 27 cities across North America with more dates to be announced.

The North American tour features Justin Collette as BeetlejuiceIsabella Esler as Lydia Deetz, Britney Coleman as Barbara Maitland, Will Burton as Adam Maitland, Jesse Sharp as Charles, Kate Marilley as Delia, with Danielle Marie Gonzalez as Miss Argentina, Abe Goldfarb as Otho, Karmine Alers as Maxine Dean/Juno, Brian Vaughn as Maxie Dean and Jackera Davis as the Girl Scout. The cast also features Michael BirenRyan BreslinJuliane GodfreyMorgan HarrisonMatthew Michael Janisse, Kenway Ho Wai K. Kua, Sean McManusLee N PriceNevada RileyTrevor Michael SchmidtLexie Dorsett Sharp and CorBen Williams.

Based on Tim Burton's dearly beloved film, BEETLEJUICE tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and Beetlejuice, a demon with a thing for stripes. When Lydia calls on Beetlejuice to scare away anyone with a pulse, this double-crossing specter unleashes a (Nether)world of pandemonium, and the biggest sandworm Broadway has ever seen.

Find out what the critics are saying!

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Linda Hodges, BroadwayWorld: This cheering and adoring audience (there's nothing better than a San Francisco audience) took no notice of the very thin plot and inconsistencies in the story, and instead focused on the over-the-top, high energy slapstick comedy stylings of the hilarious Justin Collette as the millennia-old demon 'Beetlejuice.' With clever songs by Eddie Perfect and a book by Scott Brown & Anthony King, this is one show you should be dying to see (ba-dum tsh).

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Lily Janiak, Datebook: Whereas Michael Keaton rendered the film’s title ghoul as a jabbering, hyperkinetic creature — something genuinely otherworldly and fascinating, the way festering wounds fascinate — in the musical, Beetlejuice (Justin Collette) mostly lurches back and forth along the schoolyard-bully-to-sad-sack-comedian pipeline. But we’re asked to care about and psychologize him, too. He had a rough childhood, and he just wants someone to love him, in all his loathsomeness.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Joey Morona, Cleveland.com: It’s... a lot. This musical is like that friend who is always “on.” You know the one. So desperate to entertain, they’re a constant stream of consciousness full of ideas and jokes, hoping a few of them actually land. They go off into tangents, don’t always make sense and sometimes you wish they would just relax and take a beat. Still, when they’re good, they’re really good and you remember why you enjoy their company.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Roy Berko, BroadwayWorld: If you are a MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, ADAMS FAMILY, and THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW fan, you, like the duo of guys sitting near me, who were dressed in costumes that paralleled Beetlejuice's stripped outfit, sang along with the songs, and found the exaggeration and slapstick hysterical, will become 'Bettlejuicers.' If NEXT TO NORMAL, RENT, WEST SIDE STORY and SPRING AWAKENING are your thing, you'll probably find the whole thing trite and ridiculous.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Emily Schenk, BroadwayWorld: The Beetlejuice soundtrack is one you will be flying home to download because every song is extremely catchy and entices you to want to listen to it on repeat! The first time I saw this show was in New York, and I was blown away by the performances and scenic design. I feared the experience would be hard to transfer to a national tour. However, the national touring cast didn't just calm my fears but defeated them. The whole cast exceeded my expectations and truly made it their own. Isabella Esler (Lydia) is making her professional debut on this tour and has just recently graduated high school. Watch out for Isabella Esler in future productions because this up-and-coming ingénue is a marvelous talent and proves that an authentic performance has no age.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Carmichael Cruz, Click On Detroit: Beetlejuice is a wild ride with heart. Based on the 1988 Tim Burton classic starring Michael Keaton, the Broadway adaptation brings the story to life with clever songs, magic and special effects. From the lavish (and ever-changing) set of the Maitland house to the cast of recently deceased characters found in the Netherworld, the show is a fast-paced adventure with surprises around every corner.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Colin Fleming-Stumpf, BroadwayWorld: The real star of 'Beetlejuice', however, is its production design. The design team pulled out all the steps crafting a show featuring a haunting Tim Burton-esque rotating set, lights, and pyrotechnics; combine that with the kicklines and big dance numbers of Broadway's Golden Era, and you've got a truly unique theatrical experience. To be sure, 'Beetlejuice' does have its blemishes, mostly of the writing variety. The changes to the storyline that allowed the movie to be more easily adapted for the stage made an already-chaotic plot even more chaotic, and left me saying 'what now?' and 'hang on a minute' to myself more than once, especially in act II, which drags significantly more than act I.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Greg Kerestan, BroadwayWorld: The book by Brown and King packs in belly laughs, pop cultural references and clever quips, along with a fair number of probably intentional groaners, and Eddie Perfect's bouncy, catchy, hyperactively wordy score perpetually propels the show along at its addictive breakneck speed. There are only a few moments where it slows down and gets serious, mostly involving Lydia's grief. Through all of this crowded and zany two and a half hours, Alex Timbers's design-heavy production (with costumes by William Ivey Long, scenery by David Korins and some astounding projections by Peter Nigrini) turns the Benedum Center into a spooky and delightfully dirty funhouse.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Jordana Rosenfeld, Pittsburgh City Paper: Esler, making her professional debut, has just recently graduated high school, and soars through a very demanding score with apparent effortlessness. Collette's goofy, obnoxious Beetlejuice provides most, but not all, of the comic relief in this show that purports to be about death but is more accurately described as being about the challenges of navigating life’s emotions.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Christina Mancuso, BroadwayWorld: A seemingly crowd-pleasing, high-energy, sensory-overloaded Beetlejuice was resurrected at the Ohio Theatre on Tuesday night to a devoted cult fan following. While slapstick jokes, disturbing references, and visual diversions dominate much of the show, there are also moments of heart-warming tenderness, much thanks to the incredible performance of Isabella Esler who plays Lydia.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Melinda Miller, The Buffalo News: “Beetlejuice” revels in being unabashedly juvenile in almost every way, its humor mined from the same sophomore vein that made “The Book of Mormon” a monster hit. The movie carried a gentle PG rating; the f-bombs and sex jokes on stage would earn this a hard PG-13.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Perry Tannenbaum, BroadwayWorld: Design to the rescue! However you might react to the film's storytelling, which also implicated Robert Goulet and Dick Cavett in cameo visits, Burton's comedy-horror stew was a visual wow, with touches of Disney, Dali, Hitchcock, and Edward Gorey. Onstage at Belk Theater, we behold an orgy of scenic, costume, lighting, makeup, wig, and projection design - augmented by magic, SFX, a special illuminated edition of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased, and puppets. Fear not, the pinhead guy we encountered in Tim Burton's netherworld has not been left behind.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Jeffrey Kare, BroadwayWorld: Under Alex Timbers' direction, he successfully stays true to the style of Tim Burton without ever mimicking him. The visuals alone from Kenneth Posner's lighting to David Korins' set to William Ivey Long's costumes are perfectly gothic, moody, and lively. Connor Gallagher's choreography is quite energetic. For those wondering, yes, the giant snake from the original film is included. It's been brought to life by some eye-popping puppet work from Michael Currey. For a show about death, this stage musical adaptation of Beetlejuice makes for a fun night out. The national tour is currently playing at the Durham Performing Arts Center through April 16th.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Erica Cataldi-Roberts, BroadwayWorld: The performances are uniformly stellar, though special mention must be made of both Justin Collette as Beetlejuice and especially Isabella Esler as Lydia. Collette is a riot in the title role, which requires not just the character's trademark gravelly voice, but an ever-changing range of accents, masterful comedic timing, and a great singing voice - all of which he excels at. As over-the-top as the character can be, Collette plays him with a certain charm so that you can't help looking forward to his next appearance when he's not on-stage. Meanwhile, Esler gives a star turn as the morbid and slightly mischievous character of Lydia. Her natural chemistry with the other actors is fantastic, and two of her key moments in the show, the songs 'Dead Mom' and 'Home' are belted powerfully. Fresh out of high school, it's hard to believe this is her first professional role, though it is surely the first of many.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour James Sullivan, Boston Globe: In the touring production presented by Broadway in Boston and inhumed at the Citizens Bank Opera House through May 14, the life we’re given gets all the bells and whistles, not to mention props and wisecracks. The title character is our master of ceremonies, consistently busting the fourth wall to needle the audience.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Jamie Flowers, West End Best Friend: Beetlejuice has an incredible cast and many stand out numbers. Justin Collette plays a disgusting yet delightful Beetlejuice. His command of the macabre ensemble is pure fun to watch. Isabella Ensler is enchanting and despondent as Lydia, modernising her with a bit more edge and a little less gloom than Wynona Rider. Ensler plays Lydia with a bit more of an emotional arc than in the movie and she exudes charm especially in the song, ‘Creepy Old Guy’. Delia is played by Kate Marilley who channels her inner Catherine O’Hara so well but she also brings her own kookiness to the role that would otherwise be dark and camp. The clear audience favourite is Danielle Marie Gonzalez as Miss Argentina, who delights as she frolics around hell bossing everyone around. Britney Coleman as Barbara, Will Burton as Adam, Jesse Sharp as Charles, Abe Goldfarb as Orlo and Jackera Davis as the girl scout also give notable performances. The ensemble is great, although the costumes are such that it is hard to distinguish who is who. A round of applause must be given for Kris Roberts, Brian Vaughn, Michael Biren, Ryan Breslin, Juliane Godfrey, Morgan Harrison, Matthew Michael Janisse, Kenway Hon Wai L. Kua, Sean McManus, Lee N Price, Nevada Riley, Trevor Michael Schmidt, Lexie Dorsett Sharp and Corben Williams.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Does the 'Beetlejuice' musical deliver for fans of the 1988 Tim Burton movie? Find out before you pay Broadway ticket prices for the show's run in Fort Lauderdale.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Seth Kubersky, Orlando Weekly: Don’t worry if you don’t remember (or have never seen) Tim Burton’s brilliant Beetlejuice, because book writers Scott Brown & Anthony King retain only the bare bones of Michael McDowell & Larry Wilson’s original screen story, drastically reshuffling plot points and character relationships. But Lydia (Isabella Esler) is still a lonely, afterlife-obsessed teen who befriends Adam (Will Burton) and Barbara (Britney Coleman), a klutzy couple of recently-deceased ghosts. Together, they unwittingly unleash a foul-mouthed demon named Beetlejuice (Justin Collette), whose name must be uttered thrice before he can molest mortals.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Aaron Wallace, BroadwayWorld: If you came for spookish vibes and special effects, then, as the title character says… “It’s showtime!” BEETLEJUICE is a full-fledged haunted house on stage, and that makes for an undeniably fun night. But if you’re looking for memorable music or clever comedy, I’m afraid this review reads more like an obituary. As a musical rather than a magic show, BEETLEJUICE is dead on arrival.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Quinn Roseboom, Attractions: The music is incredibly catchy and witty, and when combined with the set, costumes, and a little theater magic, it adds up to a wonderful adapted version of the classic film that is equal parts high-energy, morbid, and meaningful. That’s not to say this version of “Beetlejuice” doesn’t make some changes to the classic story, it certainly does. But don’t worry, they kept all your favorite iconic moments, but freshened up the story and modernized it for the current generation. I was smiling and laughing like a madman most of the show. The comedy is top notch.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Harker Jones, BroadwayWorld: The script deviates a bit from the film in which Beetlejuice is, essentially, a supporting character—one who steals the show, but a supporting character all the same. In the stage production, he’s introduced in the first few minutes and is Lydia’s co-lead. It’s also been contemporized (Delia was a sculptor in the movie and is now a life coach, for example), and Lydia’s relationship with her father is made more complex, giving both them and the show more heart. The score by Eddie Perfect with a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King (music supervision and orchestrations by Kris Kukul) is rousing and complements the inspired mayhem with catchy, instantly classic songs like “Creepy Old Guy,” “That Beautiful Sound,” and “Barbara 2.0.”

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Linda Hodges, BroadwayWorld: Who knew that Beetlejuice would be just the right tonic for the nightly news and this summer’s Indictment Watch ’23 (there’s still Georgia to watch for). Turns out that frighteningly funny laughs about death beats reality every time. This screen-to-stage adaptation from the iconic, beloved 1998 Tim Burton film of the same name was made for the stage. But it has a less than one-week-only, “Bay-stay” (it RIP after August 6) so get your tickets now. Forget your troubles, c’mon it’s scary at Broadway San Jose’s Beetlejuice!

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Tyler Hinton, BroadwayWorld: Standby Andrew Kober commands the stage with winking brashness as the title character, which he plays on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (otherwise played by Justin Collette). Isabella Esler’s performance as Lydia is poignant and potent. Will Burton is a delightful Adam and Britney Coleman a wonderful partner as Barbara. Other memorable performers include Jesse Sharp as Charles, Kate Marilley as Delia, Abe Goldfarb as Otho, Jackera Davis as Girl Scout, and Danielle Marie Gonzalez as Miss Argentina.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Nancy Van Valkenburg, Gephardt Daily: The acting is strong, and the musical also allows much more character development for Lydia, through spoken word and song, and — bonus points here — she may just be smart enough to trick a certain demon rather than becoming his unwitting victim. Despite changes, several key movie scenes and “special effects” also appear in the musical, with most of them being effective and satisfying. And the lively music and high caliber sets, costumes and dance numbers naturally add a lot of energy the movie could not access.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour ErinMarie Reiter, BroadwayWorld: The performers are very talented, especially Esler as Lydia, who has a powerful belt and a finely tuned sense of nihilism. Her Lydia is very clear-eyed and articulate - she is the most high-energy, musical theatre version goth kid there could be. This makes sense because you can’t ask anyone to match the unique 80s goth vibe that only Winona Ryder in a Tim Burton movie had at that time; it would be impossible.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Pam Kragen, The San Diego Union-Tribune: I was a skeptic until I saw “Beetlejuice” on Wednesday at the San Diego Civic Theatre. The 2018 Broadway musical’s first national tour is playing through Sunday and tickets for the run are almost gone. Not only does the musical have a loyal cult following — who arrive costumed as characters from the musical — it has also wowed the season subscribers who are arriving with only vague memories of the movie.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour John Wenzel, The Denver Post: Even with its overstuffed libretto and low-reaching songs, “Beetlejuice” honors and expands on its source material, bringing richness to a beloved story about, well, death. As a critic wiser than I once said, Broadway audiences grow more interested in mortality as they age. The fact that the audience at the Sept. 5 opening night looked relatively young and diverse bodes well for the future of this increasingly unaffordable art form. (In other words: Broadway needs more teen goths.)

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Korey Beyersdorf, BroadwayWorld: The cast is top-notch, each performer giving 100% to the show.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Jared Fessler, BroadwayWorld: On the opening night in Minneapolis, we were treated to an outstanding performance by Matthew Michael Janisse in the role of Beetlejuice. He had the audience in stitches, establishing a fantastic connection with the character and displaying great chemistry with the rest of the cast.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour DC Felton, BroadwayWorld: Part of the fun of seeing 'Beetlejuice' are the show's visual elements. From the moment you walk into the theatre, you are greeted by Kenneth Posner's dazzling lighting. The purple and green lights shining through the theatre set the mood for the strange and unusual show we about to see. Another fun element that draws the audience in is Peter Nigrini's projections. Some of my favorite moments with projections come at the end of Act One. These elements, along with the set design of David Korins and costumes by William Ivy Long, had the audiences screaming with delight.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Rob Levy, BroadwayWorld: As for the cast, the ensemble is tremendous. Justin Collette’s improv background allows him to break the fourth wall with panache. His Beetlejuice is an embraceable anti-hero whose skullduggery always works against him. In addition to bringing the comedy, Collette also gives the character a vulnerability that makes him relatable.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Deborah Bostock-Kelley, BroadwayWorld: With vibrant performances, catchy tunes, and a set design that defies the laws of the afterlife, this musical adaptation of Tim Burton's cult classic film is brought to life in a way that pays homage to the beloved classic and adds a unique lyrical twist.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Chris McCoy, Memphis Flyer: In retrospect, Beetlejuice was a harbinger of “cozy” horror, and this production leans into it. This being Broadway, Lydia’s mother is now fridged instead of just divorced. The teenager’s pining for her dead mother sands a little bit of the Gen X cynicism off of Lydia’s angst. Beetlejuice, however, remains the crass pervert from the afterlife that never met a fourth wall he didn’t break. I occasionally wondered if the manic proceedings onstage would make any sense at all to someone who has no fond memories of a possessed Catherine O’Hara singing calypso.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Misha Davenport, BroadwayWorld: Justin Collette’s Beetlejuice jumps and zips around the stage like a real-life Looney Tune character come to life. He constantly breaks the fourth wall, improvising jokes about the audience as much as delivering the ones in the script by Scott Brown and Anthony King. He displays so much energy throughout the entire performance that one wonders if the cocaine he sniffs off his arm early into the first act might actually be the real thing (producers assume me it’s not). When he sings in the opening number that he does this [show] like eight times a week, you don’t fully appreciate what a Herculean task that must really be.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Kimzyn Campbell, Chicago Reader: Thirty-five years after its film debut, the classic Tim Burton Halloween comedy Beetlejuice has been reimagined, first set loose like a demon as a 2019 Broadway musical (score by Eddie Perfect, book by Scott Brown and Anthony King, and directed by Alex Timbers), and now playing at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre. My inner goth jumped at the chance to see how it would hold up to audiences today. Not surprisingly, the cult favorite brought out the cosplay fans. Children, drag queens, and would-be demons arrived in their signature black-and-white garb with matching green hair. One child seated next to us proudly displayed her Handbook for the Recently Deceased bag. Yet the play isn’t entirely child-friendly, so think twice before bringing anyone under tween age.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Dennis Polkow, New City Stage: Gut that story, take away all the heart and soul of the property and fill the evening with overblown songs that stop the action rather than advance it and you have “Beetlejuice” the musical. Substitute an in-your-face Beetlejuice as a relentlessly present emcee full of gags, one-liners, smoke and mirrors. And strobe lights. Oh, and let’s be self-referential throughout, vulgar and sophomoric. And regularly ridicule the very genre that the show aspires to rise to, i.e., the musical—“fuck ‘Brigadoon!’”—but then set such a low bar that “Brigadoon” seems like Shakespeare by comparison.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun Times: Instead of characters and story, “Beetlejuice” offers an onslaught of bells and whistles: Kenneth Posner’s lighting design has enough strobes for an all-night rave. Peter Nigrini’s dizzying projections whirl and blink like fractured kaleidoscopes. There are myriad afterworldly creatures, including some gigantic sandworms (from puppet designer Michael Curry). David Korins’ purposefully off-kilter set is like a Lewis Carroll fever dream. William Ivey Long’s eye-popping costumes are delightfully flamboyant and equally macabre. But there’s no disguising the show’s lack of heart or real dramatic tension under Timbers’ overall manic pace for the show.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour James D. Watts, Jr., Tulsa World: The musical adaptation of 'Beetlejuice,' on the other hand, wisely embraces the fact that it's a musical — which allows for the title character to smash through the 'fourth wall' with glee, skewering everything from the eight-shows-a-week grind of live professional theater to expressing what a good many people think about a show like...oh, say, 'Brigadoon.'

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Kelli Arseneau, Post Crescent: Collette's Beetlejuice was lovably hilarious. The entire cast was exceptionally talented, but Collette carried the show with his wit and larger-than-life stage presence. Every minute Collette was onstage was essentially a nonstop standup comedy act. With his ceaseless energy, impeccable comedic timing and occassional breaking the fourth wall, Collette made the audience howl with laughter during much of the two-and-a-half-hour show.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Page Laws, The Virginian-Pilot: Is 'Beetlejuice: The Musical. The Musical. The Musical' — at Chrysler Hall through Sunday — worth a see? Depends.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Mary Damiano, Palm Beach Daily News: Collette is a whirling dervish of hilarity as Beetlejuice, Esler’s portrayal of goth teen Lydia is rich and textured. Goldfarb is appropriately milquetoast as Adam, although he summons some gumption in the second act. McGinnis, as Barbara, is perfectly paired with Goldfarb. Sharp is terrific as Charles, especially in his tear-jerking scene with Lydia when they reconcile and sing “Home.” Litzsinger is a joy as spacey Delia.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Margaret Smith, Telegram : All the characters find themselves on a journey that defies all physical and metaphysical dimensions, with a game show, newly-deceased football stars, a disgruntled beauty queen, an underworld hypermanaged by a cantankerous bureaucrat, and breathtaking sets, scenery and effects. Burtonesque-stylized imagery illuminates everything, so get ready for lots of lurid purple, black-and-white geometric patterns and intense neon green, all in morbid whimsy.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Aaron R. Conklin, Madison Magazine: Justin Collette is confident and snarky as our titular spook, a supernatural horndog who somehow manages to both charm and repel everyone he encounters. From the get-go, Collette treats his role like a stand-up comedian, pacing the stage, dropping politically charged jokes and playing frequently to the crowd. While he deploys plenty of his character’s familiar mannerisms, he never tries to channel Michael Keaton. He rocks out in "Fright of Their Lives," the number where Beetlejuice tries (and fails to teach Adam and Barbara how to become scary ghosts.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Ana-Brit Asplen, BroadwayWorld: n assessing Beetlejuice as a night out at the theatre, the show sparkles with its spectacular sets, bright and flashing lights, and intricate props and costumes. Its aesthetic is perfect for the Halloween season but can still be appreciated by lovers of general spookiness all year round. It has a good mix of big numbers showing off the ranges of the ensemble members as they switch characters in between scenes, as well as big solos that feature strong vocals by the leading actors. Modern musical theatre as a whole tends to have a distinct, pop-like sound, but Eddie Perfect's score works well in this instance as it is executed very well. Lydia is played by Isabella Esler, who should feel very lucky having the right timing to tour the country playing a role that exemplifies her great abilities so wonderfully, especially as her professional debut. Meanwhile, Matthew Michael Janisse stepped into the role of Beetlejuice on Tuesday, January 16th, and he claimed the role so well that anyone would be lucky to see him go on in one of his limited-edition performances as the titular character.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Dani Dudek, Austin.com: As expected, the show is packed with timely jokes and lots of laughter. We highly recommend you jump in the line and get tickets if you still can.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle: But this is really Beetlejuice's show, and while it never lags or lacks energy when the bio-exorcist is not around, whenever Justin Collette appears under that green wig the show explodes off the stage as he banters with the audience. Determined to use any manner of tricks and schemes to get back into the land of the living, this Beetlejuice absorbs the side-splitting asides of the pantomime dame in a performance that doesn't need the giant props or chorus line of Beetlejuices to engulf the entire stage. And, yes, even he has some unresolved mommy issues that become much more pressing in the second act's journey into the expressionistic Netherworld.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Laynie Clark, The Paisano: Justin Collete, the phenomenal actor who portrayed Beetlejuice, was the highlight of the show. With modern-day quips and political jabs, the audience was in a constant state of laughter as he pranced around the stage in the nostalgic pinstripe suit from the original movie. The Beetlejuice persona is not an easy one to master, but Collete made it look effortless with his movements and vocals.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour David Taffet, Dallas Voice: I rated the show as a middling musical but by the cheers and whoops from others in the theater, the audience had a great time.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour Emily Short, BroadwayWorld: Despite having a difficult time hearing the cast for a majority of the show (This seemed to be fixed after intermission.), it was clear that each cast member was well suited for their role. Justin Collette's raspy and bold voice is exactly what I imagine a loony but somehow loveable demon would sound like. The energy Collette put into each of Beetlejuice’s moods, songs, and jokes was perfect, and he did a great job including the audience in his shenanigans. With an equally or even more powerful voice was Isabella Esler. As her character, Lydia, became stronger, so did Esler’s voice; her performance was compelling. Esler naturally played the part of the spunky, unapologetic young girl who was doing her best to navigate grief.

Review Roundup: BEETLEJUICE Haunts Houses Across the U.S. on its National Tour
Average Rating: 76.1%


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