After COVID-19 ravaged New York City, Broadway shut down for seventeen months. Previous to its shutdown, Broadway gained a new hit show by the name of Beetlejuice.
Beetlejuice ran for a little under a year when Broadway began its extended shutdown because of COVID-19. The show had its last official performance on March 11, 2020, which devastated the community. The show started with many critical eyes looking on. Many shows that came to Broadway in the past couple of years have been adaptations of movies. The community has not favored this new trend, so when Beetlejuice was announced, people were skeptical.
After years of work making their way up from performing in Washington, D.C. to Broadway, Beetlejuice became an immediate hit amongst the theatre community. Its most significant advertising ended up being Tik-Tok, as hundreds of thousands of people lip synced to some of the hit show tunes from the soundtrack. Petitions were made to bring back the show, and after only two years of closing, the show reopened on April 8, 2022, starring much of the original cast.
The most substantial change the Broadway community noticed was that our original Lydia Deetz (Main Femal Lead), Sophia Anne Caruso, did not return. As people waited patiently for the new leading lady to be announced, the rest of the cast posted announcements and expressed their excitement about the reopening.
On February 10, 2022, the world got news that Elizabeth Teeter of Marymount Manhattan College class of 2024 would be starring as Lydia Deetz in the highly anticipated reopening of Beetlejuice on Broadway. Emotions were high, as many people missed the Lydia from the original cast recording, but opening night proved that the casting team working on Beetlejuice knew what they were doing.
Not much changed the show. It all returned pretty much the same as it did before it closed the first time… other than the amount of excitement around it. From Tik-Tok users to Broadway goers and Beetlejuice enthusiasts, the show brought the community together that night. After the worst three years in Broadway history, the hilarious yet heart-jerking and beloved Beetlejuice returned to Broadway and helped people realize just how much live theater was missed.
Alex Brightman returned as Beetlejuice, more energetic and hilarious than ever. Kerry Butler playing one of our leads (Barbara) returned as sweet and loving as people remembered, but with even more kick in her step. Leslie Kritzer belted as she had never belted before in the female comedic lead, and Elizabeth Teeter captured hearts after exceeding every performance expectation set by the community.
It wasn’t the show that changed, the actors, the lighting, the theater—it was the love, excitement, and the return of the community of people that care so deeply about the profession. Many shows returned this year with much praise, yet Beetlejuice was the one that made the theater community feel at home again.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Beetlejuice. The enjoyment seen on stage is contagious, and it’s precisely what Broadway enthusiasts all needed.
Lindsay Armstrong is a junior at Marymount Manhattan majoring in Cinema, Television and Emerging Media. She plans to pursue casting for Broadway and film. Along with that, she has fifteen years of experience in acting, which is a life-changing passion of hers.