×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: The Biggest Taboo in Broadway’s ‘Beetlejuice’

As “Beetlejuice” gears up for its Broadway opening, the new musical’s creators have spent a lot of time adjusting the dial on the show’s raucous, supernatural comedy, pinpointing just the right balance of edginess and emotion. But to hear them tell it, there’s one thing that’ll always be shocking.

Listen to this week’s podcast below:

“The nice thing is that of all the taboos, death is still the biggest, and also the one that transcends politics most of all,” said the show’s co-book writer Scott Brown on the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety‘s theater podcast. In the episode, he and his co-creators, songwriter Eddie Perfect and co-book writer Anthony King, detailed the work they’ve done on the piece since its tryout run in Washington, D.C., in order to make the show’s heart as strong as its humor.

“It’s a comedy, kind of a dark comedy,” explained Perfect, also the composer of this season’s “King Kong.” “And we learned what audiences feel comfortable laughing at, what they feel uncomfortable laughing at, and what we feel comfortable making the audience uncomfortable about.”

“The structure of the show is basically the same [as it was in D.C.],” added King, also a TV writer-producer (“Broad City,” “Silicon Valley”). “A lot of the emotional content that was in the show was buried at a level that the audience wasn’t aware it was there. … We did an enormous amount of rewriting, and a lot of it was just unearthing that and bringing it to the surface more.”

Popular on Variety

“D.C. was kind of like the midnight movie version of ‘Beetlejuice,'” cracked Brown (“Castle Rock”).

The creators also reveal what other material inspired them, including early drafts of the screenplay and the 1990s animated series based on the film; explain how they went about making the show more broadly accessible; and fondly remember the cut song they wrote for a dead boy band.

New episodes of “Stagecraft” are available every Tuesday. Download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on iTunesStitcher, or anywhere finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

More Legit

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

  • Claire Warden

    Listen: Let's Talk About Sex Onstage

    The craft of intimacy direction is taking Broadway by storm — and on the latest episode of Variety’s Stagecraft, Broadway’s first intimacy director explains why, and breaks down the ways in which she’s helping to revolutionize how actors get intimate onstage. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Warden, whose credits this season include “Jagged Little [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    Mark Addy, Dan Stevens Head Broadway Cast of 'Hangmen'

    Mark Addy and Dan Stevens will appear in the Broadway premiere of Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen.” Addy, best known for his work on “Game of Thrones” and “The Full Monty,” starred in the off-Broadway production of the black comedy. It’s the first time Stevens, beloved for his turn on “Downton Abbey,” has appeared on the Great [...]

  • Dear Evan Hansen Jordan Fisher

    Jordan Fisher Joins 'Dear Evan Hansen' in Title Role on Broadway

    Jordan Fisher will be Broadway’s next Evan Hansen, joining the cast of “Dear Evan Hansen” in the musical’s title role. Fisher, best known to theater enthusiasts for his stint in “Hamilton” and playing Mark Cohen in Fox’s “Rent: Live,” will play the role for a limited 16-week engagement starting Jan. 28. “Evan Hansen is a [...]

  • SUBJECTS] seen at the Lincoln Center

    Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall Set for Major Renovation

    Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall is set to undergo a major renovation that will lead to the facility being closed for months-long stretches starting in 2022. Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic announced Monday that the overhaul will require the temporary shuttering of Geffen Hall from May 2022 through October 2022 and again from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content