Alex Brightman will follow in Michael Keaton’s footsteps, assuming the title role in “Beetlejuice” on Broadway. It’s a familiar challenge for the Tony Award nominee. Brightman previously had to put his own spin on a character made famous by Jack Black when he portrayed a hard-playing guitarist/substitute teacher in the Broadway musical “School of Rock.”
In addition, the show’s backers, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Langley Park Productions, announced that Sophia Anne Caruso (“Lazarus”) will co-star as Lydia, a goth teenager who forms a bond with ghosts. Winona Ryder played the part in the Tim Burton film — it helped put her on the map.
“Beetlejuice” is eying a Broadway engagement, but first the musical version of the 1988 hit film will have a trial run at the National Theatre in Washington D.C. It begins performances on Oct. 14 and officially opens on Nov. 4.
“Beetlejuice” is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (“Peter and the Starcatcher”), with choreography by Connor Gallagher (“The Robber Bridegroom”), an original score by Eddie Perfect (“King Kong”) and a book by Scott Brown and Emmy Award nominee Anthony King (“Broad City”).
As in the film, Lydia and her family move into an idyllic country home that is haunted by a recently deceased couple and an obnoxious demon. The ghosts and the teen form a connection that helps them scare Lydia’s unendurable parents away.
Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Langley Park Productions previously collaborated on “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” The musical had a mixed reception when it played on Broadway in 2017. It did solid box office, but was shut out of that year’s Tony Awards.