- Tracy Heck
'Beetlejuice' musical dazzles at Detroit Opera House
Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2022
It's showtime folks!
The dearly beloved Broadway musical, Beetlejuice is currently playing at the Detroit Opera House through February 12th.
Based on the classic Tim Burton 1988 film of the same name, the musical tells the tale of Lydia Deetz, a unique teenager who is struggling with her mother's death and losing her sense of home.
After befriending the ghosts in her new home, Adam and Barbara Maitland, Lydia's troubled relationship with her father Charles and her future stepmom Delia leave her open to the machinations of demon Beetlejuice.
When his plan to use the Maitlands' recent deaths to his advantage doesn't work, the crude, yet sometimes charming demon unleashes the chaos of the Netherworld as he takes advantage of Lydia's hope to reunite with her mother's spirit.
Combining key aspects from the movie as well as the Beetlejuice animated series, the musical version brings to life Burton's wacky vision with some new twists.
Elaborate eye-popping set changes and catchy music with hilarious lyrics from Eddie Perfect will delight those of all ages, but it is the exciting performances from the fantastic cast that give the show its heart.
Isabella Ester shines as the "strange and unusual" Lydia giving a heartfelt and authentic portrayal of a teenager caught up in grief and wanting revenge on anyone with a pulse.
The recent high school graduate also holds her own as she handles a large bulk of the musical performances including opener "Invisible" and ballad "Home."
Breaking the fourth wall as narrator and star Beetlejuice, Justin Collette manages to ride the line between crude and kind as he shifts between showing his vulnerability and need to be loved alongside cracking sleazy jokes and hitting on both Barbara and Adam.
His natural charisma and biting humor has the audience rolling and begging for more as he easily steals the show.
Along for the ride are U of M alums Britney Coleman and Will Burton as the bubbly Barbara and Adam Maitland, Jesse Sharp as the clueless Charles Deetz and Kate Marilley as the ditzy Delia.
For those looking for that nostalgic feeling, a number of other characters from the beloved movie pop up throughout the show and many of the movie's infamous one liners are here as well as musical performances "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" and "Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)."
Tickets for the Beetlejuice musical can be purchased at BroadwayinDetroit.com.