Hit musical 'Beetlejuice' coming to the Academy of Music stage May 30-June 11

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Hit musical 'Beetlejuice' coming to Academy of Music May 30-June 11
Comedy horror cult classic "Beetlejuice" is now a hit musical, and it's coming to the Academy of Music on May 30-June 11.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- "It's showtime" for "Beetlejuice" as the ghost with the most from Tim Burton's 1988 film brings his antics to the stage.

Frances Egler, Vice President of Theatrical Programming and Presentations for the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, says Beetlejuice is just as crass as people remember.

She says it delivers the experience of the film, but in a fun, new musical on stage directed by Alex Timbers.

Michael Biren is an ensemble member of the traveling national tour of Beetlejuice.

"While it is about death, at the very center of the show, it's about heart," he says.

The story follows teenager Lydia Deetz, who Biren describes as being obsessed with the whole being dead thing.

We go behind the scenes of some fan favorites back by popular demand.

She encounters Beetlejuice and can see a recently deceased couple in her new home. Deetz claims she can see these ghosts, "because I myself am strange and unusual."

"And for fans of the movie, it's very true to those iconic characters," says Biren.

They're trying to scare Lydia's family away, but first Beetlejuice needs a favor so everyone can see him.

"By saying the name 'Beetlejuice' three times it summons this demon, and he needs to have her to basically escape hell for eternity," says Egler.

Along with new music, there's some favorites from the film as well, like "Day-O."

"It has an incredible use of puppetry and sort of over-the-top scenic elements," says Egler.

She says it helps to build a whole weird world of this house, sort of like the Netherworld.

"There's over 100 special effects throughout the show, with magic tricks and pyrotechnics and illusions," says Biren.

Egler says there's also some really bizarre comedy as well, involving sandworms.

"It's very funny and weird, but at its core, it's this beautiful message about family and love," says Biren.

He says there is a redefinition of what family is and making the most of every day in this stage version.

Egler says it's a huge audience favorite, because people really love the irreverent and over-the-top character that is Beetlejuice.

'Beetlejuice' runs May 30 through June 11 at the Academy of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

'Beetlejuice' at the Academy of Music | Tickets

Academy of Music

240 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102