'Beetlejuice' Sets Summer 2020 Closing Date on Broadway

BEETLEJUICE Production Still 2 - Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

The musical based on the 1988 Tim Burton cult movie, which broke the Winter Garden Theatre box office record over Thanksgiving, will launch a national tour in 2021.

The phantom menace currently haunting Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre will vacate the premises on June 6 next year, when Beetlejuice plays its final New York performance. 

The announcement comes as a surprise for the $21 million musical, which opened to mixed reviews on April 25 but has steadily climbed in grosses as positive audience word of mouth spread and tourists drawn by the familiar 1988 Tim Burton movie title flocked to the show. Grosses for the week ending Dec. 1 hit a new house record of $1,589,839, with a cumulative haul to date of just under $35 million.

The production scored a significant sales boost from its musical number on the CBS Tony Awards telecast in June, led by Alex Brightman in the title role, and has frequently grossed north of $1 million a week in the months since, representing a remarkable turnaround from its unpromising start.

But hefty weekly running costs and high demand for large musical houses on Broadway have combined to shorten the show's New York run, with the Shubert Organization, which controls the Winter Garden, reportedly forcing the production out to make way for next fall's big-ticket revival of The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.

Beetlejuice producers Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Langley Park Productions have confirmed that the show, which is directed by Alex Timbers, will begin a national tour in fall 2021, with cities and dates to be announced. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that the producers are looking to transfer the production to another Broadway house, though such a move would be an expensive proposition given the musical's elaborate design elements.

The show's Broadway cast recording is the top-streaming cast album of the 2018-19 season, last month hitting 100 million streams, with tracks from the musical used in over one million TikTok videos.

Alongside Brightman, the Broadway cast currently is led by Sophia Anne Caruso, Kerry Butler, David Josefsberg, Adam Dannheisser and Leslie Kritzer. The musical features a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King, with an original score by Eddie Perfect.