‘Beetlejuice the Musical’ in Detroit

Beetlejuice the Musical in Detroit

Madison Singer

From January 31st– February 12th of 2023 ‘Beetlejuice the Musical’ was showing in Detroit! With the Detroit Opera House not too far from our school, many people saw this show! Last weekend marked their closing night, so now is a good time to review the show! Although you can’t see it anymore, you can hear some opinions from students, which is almost just as fun! 

Before getting into the opinions though, the story of the musical should probably be reviewed, as it doesn’t stick to the classic movie that it was adapted from. The characters are the same of course, including Beetlejuice, Lydia, and the Maitland’s as the main characters. But unlike in the movie, the Maitland’s never make it to the Netherworld, and they don’t die in a car crash. Instead of that, the musical begins with the funeral of Emily Deetz, Lydia’s mother. The Maitland’s then die due to some faulty carpentry in their home. With Lydia’s family moving into the recently deceased Maitland’s house, hijinks ensue as Beetlejuice attempts to once again become human. Trying and failing to use the Maitland’s for his plan, Beetlejuice moves onto Lydia and the two of them work together as a pretty good team for a while.  In usual musical fashion, dramatic betrayals and twists happen, and the musical ends with an idea similar to the movie.  

As a part of Broadway in Detroit, this show had very high-production value. With a stage consisting of intricate and colorful sets, and relentless and mesmerizing lighting “Beetlejuice the Musical” is quite a visual show. Other than the very cool sets and lights to see, there is a plethora of visual comedy that you would miss from just the soundtrack and need the people on stage to understand.  This sort of stuff is even more impressive when you realize that all that work is put into the creation and production of the musical only for it to only be shown for two weeks! The amount of preparation and behind-the-scenes work that goes into stage productions is endless.  

With over fifteen shows done by this cast, there was a lot of opportunity to impress! Personally, I thought the show was super entertaining! Every person was a phenomenal singer, and there wasn’t one part where I got bored. But don’t just take my word for it- here are some opinions on the musical from more students at Dakota: 

“I thought it was very good! I used to be scared of Beetlejuice as a kid, so it was nice to see it in a different light. The dancing, the songs, the costumes. Everything was just really well done! It seems like one of those shows that you could see over and over and never really get bored of it. Out of ten I give it an eight and a half” Mackenzie Patenaude, 12  

“Beetlejuice the Musical was good! I went with my mom and even she liked it, which is saying a lot because she usually hates stuff like that. The only bummer was that I had the understudy for Lydia- which wasn’t even that much of a bummer. The girl we got was still great, it would have just been cool to see the actual one. The dancing was cool too- I’ve heard the musical before, so I knew the words and everything but actually seeing everything and the movement just made it a lot better. I rate it a nine out of ten.” Quinn Garrison, 12  

It seems as though the general consensus of kids at our school is that it was pretty good! With a mean score of 8.75/10, Beetlejuice definitely didn’t disappoint. Broadway in Detroit started in 1912 and has been a consistent fixture of the community ever since. They are constantly trying to take the extravagance and pageantry of Broadway shows and transfer them to the stages in Michigan! If you are interested in the theater or learning about any upcoming shows, keep an eye on the Broadway in Detroit website HERE.  They’ve actually already announced the shows for the 23-24 season, including some very well-known shows like ‘Funny Girl’ and ‘Frozen’. More affordable than going to New York, Broadway in Detroit is some people’s only chance to experience these musicals on stage! 

If Beetlejuice is one of your favorite movies, then this musical is a great way to experience something with the well-known and loved characters in a new format! Although the show is done for now, the soundtrack is available on all streaming services if there is interest in listening to it! With the students at Dakota giving good reviews, it’s safe to say that ‘Beetlejuice the Musical’ was a success! Congratulations to the cast and crew members that helped make it into such a memorable experience for so many people.