Posts Tagged ‘eddie perfect’

Music and Lyrics by Eddie Perfect, Book by Scott Brown and Anthony King
Directed by Alex Timbers
Choreographed by Connor Gallagher
The Fox Theatre
October 11, 2023

Isabella Esler, Justin Collette
Photo by Matthew Murphy
Beetlejuice North American Tour

I’ve seen the movie Beetlejuice in its entirety once, and that was when was first released in 1988. I had seen very few clips of the musical adaptation, as well (mostly the Tony Awards performance). Still, even though my Beetlejuice knowledge was rusty, that doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the energetic, technically impressive tour that’s currently running at the Fox. With a great cast, a catchy score, and some eye-catching visuals, this is a crowd-pleaser with a surprising amount of heart.

There are a few changes from the movie plot, apparently, and the focus here is more on Beetlejuice himself (Justin Collette), and the sad teenager Lydia Deetz (Isabella Esler) than movie leads Barbara (Megan McGinnis) and Adam Maitland (Ryan Breslin, subbing for principal Will Burton), and the tone is possibly even darker than Tim Burton’s original film. Still, the overall vibe is dark comedy, with some heartwarming moments thrown into the mix, and an ultimately hopeful message of family, belonging, and living life to the fullest. As the grieving Lydia tries to deal with the recent death of her mother, and her father Charles (Jesse Sharp) tries to forget his grief by ignoring it and moving on with aggressively perky life coach Delia (Kate Marilley), and trying to fix up the recently-deceased Maitlands’ house, the impossibly nice Barbara and Adam try to learn how to be ghosts, and Beetlejuice desperately wants to be able to be seen by living people in hopes that he won’t be oppressively lonely anymore. Of course, Beetlejuice being as creepy and mischievous as he is, much hijinks ensue, with some broad comedy, crass jokes, and lively musical numbers punctuating the story along the way. 

Even though there’s a lot happening here, the story moves along well, and is fairly easy to follow, with the performances adding energy and enthusiasm to the already wacky plot and characters. Collette and Esler are the obvious stars here, with Collette great with comic timing and physical comedy, and Esler impressing with memorable stage presence and powerful vocals. McGunnis and Bresler are also strong as the almost-too-nice Barbara and Adam, who have many fun moments together and with Lydia and Beetlejuice, especially. There are also memorable turns from Sharp as the initially clueless but ultimately well-meaning Charles, and Marilley as the impossibly wacky but also well-meaning Delia. There’s an excellent ensemble to back up the leads, as well, who especially excel in the production numbers and energetic choreography by Connor Gallagher.

Technically, the show dazzles, especially for a touring show, with an impressively elaborate set by David Korins and marvelous projections by Peter Negrini. William Ivey Long’s costumes are clever and delightfully whimsical, as well, with some impressive hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. The excellent lighting by Kenneth Posner, puppet design by Michael Curry, Makeup by Joe Dulude II, and sound by Peter Hylenski also contribute a lot to the overall comically creepy atmosphere. 

Beetlejuice is a whole lot of fun, and it seems especially appropriate this time of year in the run-up to Halloween. There is some crass humor and language, so it may not be best for young children, but it seems most appealing for teens and up. Even if you haven’t seen the film, or don’t remember it well, this show should make a strong impression. It’s a big, crass, creepily hilarious show that looks and sounds great. It’s a fun show to start off the new season of touring shows at the Fox.

Justin Collette (center) and Cast of Beetlejuice
Photo by Matthew Murphy
Beetlejuice North American Tour

The North American tour of Beetlejuice is running at the Fox Theatre until October 22, 2023

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