|Date(s):||2019 - 2020|
|Country of Origin:||US|
|External Links:||Beetlejuice the Musical Official Website|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Beetlejuice was a Broadway musical by Eddie Perfect, Scott Brown, and Anthony King. It was adapted from the 1988 comedy horror film of the same name by Tim Burton. The musical features a recently deceased couple who tries to hire a bio-exorcist to rid their home of the new family that had moved in.
- See Beetlejuice for the multiverse overview
The musical had a Pre-Broadway tryout in Washington D.C. in 2018, before opening on Broadway in 2019. It was slated to close on June 6, 2020, but because of the coronavirus crisis, played its last performance on March 12, 2020.
Unlike the Movie, in which the story is based on the Maitlands need to rid the house of the new residence, this iteration focus is on death and the effects that it has on the characters.
The story begins with the Deetz family attending the funeral of Emily Deetz. Her daughter, Lydia sings about the loss and how it has rendered her invisible to everyone around her. Beetlejuice, breaking the fourth wall as he tends to do through the show, comments that the ballad intro is a "bold departure from the source material". He then informs the audience that this is a show about Death and introduces the next set of characters. The Maitlands, a "boring" and "normal" couple who are about to die.
Upon their death, Beetlejuice tried to ingratiate himself into their afterlives in an attempt to manipulate them into getting a living person to set him free. He attempts to teach them how to scare the new family that moved into the home. The Deetz family, months after Emily's death, are attempting to move on. Lydia refuses to move on and searches for a sign that her mother's spirit is still around. Instead of her mother, she meets the Maitlands after Beetlejuice gives up on them.
Lydia believes the Maitlands can help her and when disappointed by the failed scare tactics, she chooses to punish her family by attempting suicide. Luckily a moping Beetlejuice spots her in time and attempts to convince her to say his name and let him free. Not buying his con, she pushes him off the roof and chooses the Maitlands again, and once again, they failed to scare the family during a dinner party. At this point, Lydia is desperate and summons Beetlejuice. He succeeds in kicking everyone out of the house, keeping Lydia all to himself.
Through the second act and beyond, Lydia and Beetlejuice develop a friendship that leads Beetlejuice to choose Lydia to be the one he wants to set him free indefinitely through marriage. The story continues with Beetlejuice attempting to manipulate the characters into getting his way, Lydia conning Beetlejuice in return to escape, marry and escape him again. All while Lydia discovers that the Neitherworld is not what she thought it was, choosing instead to live her life with her newfound family and letting her dead mom go.
- Lydia Deetz
- Beetlejuice (character)
- Delia Deetz / Delia Schlimmer
- Charles Deetz
- Adam Maitland
- Barbara Maitland
- Miss Argentina
- Maxie Dean
- Maxine Dean
- Sky The Girl Scout
Non-Canon songs made by the cast and crew
- The Demo Songs - ‘Beetlejuice! The Demos!’ offers fans a look at the musical’s cut songs
- Holiday tune for Thanksgiving "Dead Bird" (a parody of Dead Mom)
- Holiday tune “Carol Of The Beetlebells” – Beetlejuice 
- Carol of the Beetlebells | A Beetlejuice AGMV by Super Freya GAILIN Productions
- Holiday tune "I Saw Mommy Kissing Beetlejuice"
This new iteration of the franchise revitalized the fandom and brought in new fans, artists, and writers. As with many fandom resurgences, this brought with it its own set of controversies, ship wars, and fresh modernized content.
Tropes & Fanon
Popular fanon is that Beetlejuice is either genderfluid or some other nonbinary gender. Its widespread acceptance may be due to the fact that Alex Brightman, who originated the role of Beetlejuice, has expressed support of the headcanon. Some fans view this opinion as word of God confirmation on its canon status, but other fans believe that actor confirmation is no more than a popular headcanon, due to the nature of theater having many actors for one character.
Another generally accepted fanon is that Beetlejuice's hair will change color based on his mood. Affectionately referred to as "mood ring hair"
A popular ship called Beetlelands is an OT3 ship between Beetlejuice and both Maitlands. The other most popular ship is Beetlebabes, the ship of Lydia and Beetlejuice which is primarily a ship in the film and the animated series universe. A beetlebabes shipper is often referred to, most often by antis, as "a beetlebabe" or "multiple beetlebabes."
This ship is considered controversial due to the age difference between teenage Lydia and adult/possibly centuries old Beetlejuice. This has sparked much controversy, including the fact that the winner of the Playbill cover contest ships Beetlebabes, causing many people to say they shouldn't have won or their art be supported.
- Everything Changed When the Musical Attacked: The Shitstorm of the Beetlejuice Fandom Reddit Post in R/HobbyDrama
- [beetlejuice... Beetlejuice... BEETLEJUICE] by [GlassesDisaster], Dec 3, 2019
- [I don’t normally post my art but uhhhhh here it is] by [beetlelyds], April 21, 2020
- ["yeah, he's a monster... but he's my monster" by [dinkydins], May 30, 2020
- [It's Showtime! A Beetlejuice Fanbook] by Various Artists, July 1, 2020
- [Inktober 2019 by AngelQueen on Tumblr]
- [Delia and Lydia by Mocamagical on Tumblr]
For the first time ever on Broadway, one guest artist received the chance to see their work on the May cover of the official Beetlejuice Playbill. Out of 850 entries, there were five finalists for public voting and ultimately Angel Q's entry—featuring the characters as a deck of cards—was selected as the winner.[Top 16 Announcment]
After 850 mind-blowing entries and over 18,000 votes, look who’s holding all the aces! It feels SO GOOD to announce the winner of our Playbill Fan Art Contest, Angel Q! Thank you to EVERYONE who entered and voted.[Twitter Announcement]
Unfortunately shortly after this announcement Beetlejuice the Musical would close due to Covid-19 and the playbill was not produced for the show. However, a digital backstage was hosted where the entire cast digitally autographed the playbill with AngelQ's winning fanart. The playbill can be seen on Twitter [Signed Playbill Via Virtual Stage Door]
Playbill Article Links
- [Top 16 Design Finalists for Beetlejuice’s Playbill Cover Competition]
- [That Whole Being Artistic Thing: Beetlejuice Announces Winner of Playbill Cover Competition]
- [Playbill Winning artwork by Angelqueen13art on Tumblr]
- Tiktok - Tiktok was instrumental in the popularity of the musical among theater fans. During the Covid-19 lockdown, the rise of Beetlejuice inspired TikTok videos began to appear.
- Tumblr - With the rise of the musical, the fandom that was already on Tumblr received a massive boost of new content. As such, this led to a rise of fandom discourse between older fans and newer fans. It also contributed to the rise of the ship war and created a divide among fans who argued over who was the better version of Beetlejuice.
- Artwork defaming other fans began to emerge along with fanart endorsing competition between the three Beetlejuice iterations.
- Instagram - New fans began posting their cosplay and memes raising awareness of the existence of the Musical to an older demographic. Mild friction ensued on this platform as well in regards to the ship war.
- Broadway Shutdown Extends Until 2021 Posted June 29, 2020
- Absolutely. 100% posted Oct 5, 2019
- That Whole Being Artistic Thing: Beetlejuice Announces Winner of Playbill Cover Competition posted on March 23, 2020
- tweet thread posted March 24, 2020, accessed July 7, 2020