“Beetlejuice: The Musical, The Musical, The Musical”


Tanya Wummer

Our story begins in a graveyard.  Lydia Deetz is at a funeral for her mother.  She is accompanied by her father Charles. It all seems sad and somber, until a certain “ghost with the most” shows up. This pesky poltergeist is the one and only Beetlejuice. He welcomes the audience by telling them about the “Whole ‘Being Dead’ Thing.” He says that death may seem somber and sad to humans, but to ghosts, it’s just another “been there, done that” situation.  He then tells the story of the Maitlands, a newlywed couple who built a house and planned to have a family but had an untimely death when they fell through a hole in the floor (“Ready, Set, Not Yet”).

The Maitlands are now residing in the world of the dead and encounter B.J., who says the two  must haunt their own house to keep unwanted visitors away. Right on cue, the Deetz’s enter the house. Lydia is not thrilled to be there, as her new stepmother, Delia, tells her she needs to quit being so depressed and morbid all the time. Lydia feels that no matter how hard she tries, nobody seems to understand her. In this state of sadness, Lydia plans to end her life by jumping off the roof of the house.  That is, until B.J. appears and tells her that she could have him as a new best friend. All she has to do is chant his infamous incantation, or say his name 3 times (“Say My Name”). Lydia is very hesitant to do so, and instead pushes him aside for the Maitlands. In the house, Charles is getting ready for a dinner party with some executives. All seems to be going well, until Delia spontaneously starts singing and everybody else joins in too (“Day-O”). Unbeknownst to them, this is the work of Lydia and the Maitlands, who have not only possessed the guests, but the pork roast as well! Lydia sees that this plan is not working. She knows what she has to do now, and so she takes a deep breath and proceeds to shout, “BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE!!!!!!!” 

…IT’S SHOWTIME!!!! B.J. enters the scene and sets all hell loose, so much so, that it scares everyone out of the house. That is, except for Lydia. Weeks go by, and Lydia is having a blast with B.J., scaring the living daylights out of innocent citizens who enter the house. B.J. and Lydia both agree that they love hearing the fear induced shrieks that come out of people when they are scared (“That Beautiful Sound”). Lydia loves hanging out with B.J., and B.J. feels the same way! He never had a best friend before and to show her how much he trusts her, he shows her “The Handbook for The Recently Deceased.” Lydia sees the book as a one-way ticket to finding her mother. She can’t open it however, because she is not dead so she asks the Maitlands to open it for her. B.J. hears of this plot and feels majorly betrayed, because Lydia would rather find her mom instead of spending time with him. He then threatens to send the Maitlands to the Netherworld, the place where they were originally supposed to go and be miserable. Lydia sees the entranceway and goes in herself, with Charles following close behind.

In the Netherworld, Lydia and Charles meet Miss Argentina, who, along with all the other Netherworld residents, lament on how they never got to live life to the fullest and instead had to suffer in the Netherworld. They all wish they could have another chance at living, because if they did, they’d promise they’d do it right  (“What I Know Now”). Lydia then searches desperately for her mother, but she is nowhere to be found. She is heartbroken but Charles reassures her that her mother’s memory will never be forgotten. Lydia then resurfaces only to find out that B.J. has roped her into marrying him for his own benefit, because, if he marries someone who is alive, then he too will get to live (“Creepy Old Guy”). Lydia, grateful for him showing her how to live again, proceeds to marry him. He then feels all the emotions that a living human would and Lydia sees that he is unstable and impales him, therefore killing him again.

B.J. says that being alive isn’t as great as he thought it would be and that he’s going to stick to being dead. He then heads back to the Netherworld for good, but Lydia knows he’ll be back. Lydia realizes that it took a dead man to teach her how to live life to the fullest and she will never forget B.J., because he really was her best friend. Lydia then sings her mother’s favorite song to keep her memory alive and the whole family joins in. This time, without being possessed! (“Jump in The Line”).

The show was truly fantastic! It had all the elements of the Tim Burton film that is loved by so many. The songs were great, and the cast was amazing. The special effects and pyrotechnics that made the audience feel like they were actually in the story! If you want to see a show that is truly “strange and unusual”, just call, “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice…”