The Broadway-aimed production of the musical Beetlejuice, receiving its world premiere on November 4, 2018, at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. has announced its initial cast. Alex Brightman, Tony-nominee for School of Rock, will tackle the wacky title character and two-time Lucille Lortel nominee Sophia Anne Caruso will join him as the morose, death-obsessed teenager Lydia. The musical will be directed by Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!, Peter and the Starcatcher) and Connor Gallagher (The Robber Bridegroom) will choreograph.
Alex Brightman made his Broadway debut in the musical Glory Days. He has since appeared in Wicked, Big Fish, and Matilda before landing the plum role of Dewey Finn in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock, for which he received a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Off-Broadway he starred in Encores! City Center’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, and in The Old Globe’s world premiere musical, Nobody Loves You. On television, Alex most recently appeared on the Showtime series SMILF and The Good Fight with Christine Baranski.
Sophia Anne Caruso played Young Norma Jean alongside Bernadette Peters in NBC-TV’s hit series, Smash. She played Brigitta Von Trapp in NBC-TV’s live TV musical, The Sound of Music Live!. Sophia’s regional credits include the world premiere of Second Hand Lions directed by Scott Schwartz at the 5th Ave Theater in Seattle, and Charlotte Van Goethem in the world premiere of Little Dancer, directed by Susan Stroman at the Kennedy Center. A two-time Lucille Lortel Award-nominee for her performances in The Nether and Lazarus, Caruso’s first Broadway credit was in Blackbird.
Beetlejuice is adapted from the popular 1988 Tim Burton film. It features a score by Eddie Perfect (King Kong) and a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King. David Korins will design the scenery, William Ivey Long will create the costumes, and Kenneth Posner will design the lighting for the production. Sound design will be provided by Peter Hylenski and projection design by Peter Nigrini.
The show is described as follows: “Beetlejuice tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager obsessed with the whole “being dead thing.” Lucky for Lydia, her new house is haunted by a recently deceased couple and a degenerate demon who happens to have a thing for stripes. When Lydia calls on this ghost-with-the-most to scare away her insufferable parents, Beetlejuice comes up with the perfect plan, which involves exorcism, arranged marriages and an adorable girl scout who gets scared out of her wits.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.