“Beetlejuice” is coming back from death’s door — and taking up residence on Broadway.
The fan-favorite musical comedy, which tells the story of a goth girl and a pushy poltergeist and overcame a sluggish start to win audience’s hearts, will open at the Marquis Theater on April 8, producers announced Monday.
The musical, which starred Alex Brightman as the titular ghoul in a striped suit, played its last performance on March 11, 2020, at the Winter Garden Theater before being shuttered with the rest of Broadway and the city’s other live performance venues. It had performed well in its initial run, but was set to be forced out of the Winter Garden in June 2020 as the Shubert Organization made way for “The Music Man,” a heavily promoted project that stars one of Broadway’s most reliable audience draws: Hugh Jackman. (That musical is now set to begin preview performances on Dec. 20.)
The ouster of a show that was a box-office success — “Beetlejuice” grossed nearly $1.6 million over Thanksgiving week in 2019, setting a record for the Winter Garden — was unusual, and a sign of the booming demand for limited theater space.
“It’s sad and a shame, and also, in its own way, historic,” Hal Luftig, a “Beetlejuice” co-producer who has been working on Broadway for 30 years, said at the time. “I don’t think there’s ever been a case when a show has turned itself around in such a fashion and then has to leave its theater.”
“Beetlejuice,” which was capitalized for $21 million and opened in April 2019, became a sensation on TikTok, which led to additional ticket sales. A popular weekly costume contest lured Lydias and Beetlejuices to the show’s midtown marquee.
In his review of the show for The New York Times, Ben Brantley praised Brightman’s performance and the “jaw-droppingly well-appointed gothic funhouse set” by the set designer, David Korins (“Hamilton”), but lamented that the musical “so overstuffs itself with gags, one-liners and visual diversions that you shut down from sensory overload.”
With a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King; music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect; and direction by Alex Timbers (who is up for a Tony Award for directing “Moulin Rouge!”), the stage production was adapted from Tim Burton’s 1988 film. The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards, but won none.
“Beetlejuice” was set to begin its first North American tour in 2021, but the pandemic delayed it to the 2022-23 season.
Tickets for the Broadway show will go on sale Oct. 1 via Ticketmaster, with casting to be announced at a later date.