Entertainment » Music

Beetlejuice - Original Broadway Cast Recording

by Kitty Drexel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Jun 24, 2019
Beetlejuice - Original Broadway Cast Recording

"Beetlejuice (Original Broadway Cast Recording)" is an album about death. The cast tells the listener at least fifteen times in the opening number. Ghostlight Records and Warner Records dropped the digital album on June 7, 2019. It will be available in CD format later this summer.

The musical is based on the 1988 Tim Burton and Warner Bros movie. It has original music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect ("King Kong"), a book by Scott Brown ("Castle Rock"), and music supervision, orchestrations and incidental music by Kris Kukul ("Joan of Arc: Into the Fire"). It is produced by Matt Stine, Alex Timbers, Eddie Perfect, and Kurt Deutsch.

"Beetlejuice" made a big splash at this year's Tony Awards, thanks to the irrepressibly brash performance by Alex Brightman ("School of Rock") in the titular role. His performance on the album, like the award show's performance, cracks the fourth wall down the middle. He throws punches at the listener's expense, and we laugh with him. Brightman employs a character voice for his role as Beetlejuice. It can be hard to listen to. Brightman asserts in multiple interviews (such as his interview for "People Magazine") that he worked with a vocal coach, vocal pathologist, and an ear, nose, and throat doctor to find this distinct voice. The grating, jarring quality he employs is healthy albeit succinctly different from his work on "School of Rock."

Sophia Anne Caruso ("Lazarus") oversings as teenage, goth favorite Lydia. The healthy belt she employed on the "Lazarus" is overworked on this recording. Her character work is solid, but it sounds like she's working too hard.

"Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" is still a fixture in the "Beetlejuice" album. It makes a brief appearance in "The Prologue," and the infamous dinner scene is played out as well. "Creepy, Old Guy" comments on Beetlejuice's strangely charismatic, albeit repellant, presence by playing the May-December romance trope. "Girl Scout" performed by the sweet-sounding Dana Steingold as Sky the candid Girl Scout is sure to become a favorite among fans. "No Reason" pokes fun at New Agey navel-gazers. It, like much of the musical, is packed with cheerful nihilism.

"Beetlejuice" the recording is mildly more family-appropriate than the stage musical. The stage musical is infinitely more family-friendly than the 1988 movie. It does broach such topics as child marriage, loneliness, death - so much gruesome death - the joys of feeling scared, suicide and exorcism, among others.



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