Disclaimer: It’s showtime! I received two tickets for BEETLEJUICE through a partnership with the Tampa Bay Bloggers and the Straz Center for the purpose of this review. All the opinions are my own.

Conjuring BEETLEJUICE the musical for a stage adaptation required a few twists and well-thought-out changes from the original 1988 Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, and honestly the stage adaptation by Scott Brown and Anthony King pulls it off splendidly.

The musical fills in some plot holes that longtime Beetlejuice fans never questioned about the original film, such as What DID happen to Lydia’s mom?” (No spoilers.)

More so than the original film, BEETLEJUICE the musical produces a whirlwind of constant action and laughs while delivering fantastic musical numbers. “A show of about death” will kill you with laughter and the musical score truly slays.

Justin Collette (Beetlejuice) brings to life everyone’s favorite anti-hero. In the stage adaptation, Beetlejuice plays the role of narrator, emcee, and mischief maker torturing all the living and dead souls around him.

Pictured (L-R): Britney Coleman (Barbara), Will Burton (Adam), Isabella Esler (Lydia) and Justin Collette(Beetlejuice) - Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Collette perfectly captures the Beetlejuice’s mix of charm, creepiness, and comedic timing with some fantastic ad libbing, too. Despite some unforeseeable technical difficulties throughout Tuesday’s opening night, Collette maintains the charm with comic relief and some impressive improvising. Collette’s vocal performance is also top-notch and delivers the show’s many showstoppers with self-possession.  

The fantastic score offers a wonderful mix of style and genre that reflects the personality and wild ensemble of players. Catchy, funny and emotional tunes perfectly capture the essence of the BEETLEJUICE.

Justin Collette (Beetlejuice) and tour company of Beetlejuice – Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

The cast executes each number flawlessly with superb vocal performances and maintaining the energy required for the various musical numbers and costume changes. For the true Beetlejuice fans, “Day-O” will delight you. You may even find yourself singing, dancing and clapping along.

Isabella Esler (Lydia Deetz) brings such depth and nuance to the role with her impressive vocal performance. Will Burton (Adam) and Megan McGinnis (Barbara) beautifully summon the nerdiness to play the beloved ghost couple who reluctantly team up with Beetlejuice to scare away their new homeowners, the Deetzes. As the flaky, loveable life coach, Kate Marilley brings the “SUC-YES” to deliver an over-the-top Delia Deetz.

Beetlejuice fans will be happy to know that their favorite netherworld characters also make appearances including, the suicidal Miss Argentina, Juno, the shrunken head hunter and the striped sandworm.

The state-of-the-art projections and spooky special effects are truly out of this world. Much like the film, the majority of the story takes place in the Maitlands’ and Deetzes’ home. A massive rotating set transforms to reflect each phase of ownership throughout the production. As the scenes change, the curtains close to become the screen for the projected images and lightshow creating a truly immersive world for the audience.

For the fantastic music, laughs, costumes and outlandish set designs, BEETLEJUICE is a quirky, frightfully fun must-see musical. 


What You Need To Know Before You Go

Throughout the show, the production uses quite a bit of strobe lights. If you have any photosensitivity, please be aware.

In addition, as the Straz Center states on its site, BEETLEJUICE “contains strong language, mature references, and a lot of the crazy, inappropriate stuff you would expect from a deranged demon”.

Cosplaying is a must! Seriously, all the cool kids do it. Wear green if you are a Barbara or Adam fan. Suit up in black and white with a pop of green for Beetlejuice. Dress to impress in solid black lace for Lydia, red lace for Bridal Lydia, or yellow for “be happy, Lydia”. (That’s a spoiler. Sorry.)


See your favorite deranged demon at the Straz Center. BEETLEJUICE is bringing down the house now until Sunday, 10/29. 

Visit for show times and tickets.