Broadway-Bound 'Beetlejuice' Musical Finds Its Leads

Alex Brightman and Sophia Anne Caruso-Beetlejuice-Publicity-H 2018
Darren Cox-SpotCo

'School of Rock' Tony nominee Alex Brightman and Sophia Anne Caruso, who appeared in the David Bowie musical 'Lazarus,' will take on the roles originated onscreen by Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder.

Ahead of its world-premiere pre-Broadway engagement in Washington D.C., key casting has been announced for the stage musical adaptation of Beetlejuice.

Alex Brightman, who received a Tony Award nomination as Dewey Finn in the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical School of Rock, will play the anarchic title character, a pervy bio-exorcist demon set loose to terrorize a family of transplanted New Yorkers. Sophia Anne Caruso, who was featured in the David Bowie musical Lazarus and made her Broadway debut in Blackbird, will play morbidly obsessed Goth teen Lydia Deetz. She moves with her embarrassingly pretentious parents into the haunted home inhabited by an innocent young ghost couple who inadvisedly summon Beetlejuice to help scare off the new occupants.

The roles of Brightman and Caruso were originated in Tim Burton's 1988 cult comedy by Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder, respectively.

Also joining the cast of the musical will be Kerry Butler and Rob McClure, as the ghost couple played onscreen by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin; Adam Dannheisser and Leslie Kritzer as Lydia's father Charles and stepmother Delia; Jill Abramovitz and Danny Rutigliano as Charles' real estate developer bosses, Maxine and Maxie Dean; and Kelvin Moon Loh as Delia's flamboyant decorator Otho.

Produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Langley Park Productions, the show is directed by Alex Timbers and choreographed by Connor Gallagher. The original score is by Australian composer Eddie Perfect, who also wrote songs for the King Kong musical, beginning performances on Broadway in October. The book for Beetlejuice was adapted by Scott Brown and Anthony King from the Burton film, with story by Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson.

The production will play at Washington's National Theatre, the same venue where Mean Girls had its pre-New York run last year. Previews begin Oct. 14, with opening night set for Nov. 4. Broadway plans are expected to be confirmed before the end of the 2018-19 season.

Updated Aug. 22 with full casting.