Beetlejuice sets Broadway closing date, announces national tour
It’s time for Beetlejuice to move on from Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre (though no word yet on whether their ghosts might stick around to haunt the new owners).
On Monday, producers announced that the production will play its final performance at the Winter Garden Theatre on June 6, putting the final block of tickets on sale for the musical’s last six months of performances. It won’t mark the end of the show for Beetlejuice, as the news also came with the promise of a national tour set to launch in fall 2021. More information, including cities and dates, is still to come.
Based on the 1988 Tim Burton film of the same name, Beetlejuice follows the story of Lydia Deetz (Sophia Anne Caruso), a strange and unusual girl whose life is turned upside down when she meets the recently deceased couple haunting her new home and dastardly demon Beetlejuice (Alex Brightman). Directed by Alex Timbers, Beetlejuice features a score from Eddie Perfect (King Kong) and a book by duo Scott Brown and Anthony King. EW called it a “fun jaunt through the netherworld.”
The announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that the production’s fortunes have been on the rise. Beetlejuice just broke the Winter Garden box office record for 8 performances on the week ending Dec. 1. It’s been a surprise hit, with sales steadily increasing since its spring opening and the average ticket price continuing to rise.
Reports from the New York Times suggest the closing notice doesn’t come by choice, but rather because Beetlejuice is being ousted by The Shubert Organization to make room for the splashy fall revival of The Music Man. The Shubert Organization reportedly invoked a clause in their contract allowing them to dismiss a show when grosses fall below an agreed-upon level for two weeks in a row.
The clause was invoked last May, but in the intervening months, Beetlejuice has seen an upswing in grosses, breaking box office records and becoming the top streaming Broadway cast album of the 2018-2019 season. However, the Shubert Organization had already reached an agreement with The Music Man producer Scott Rudin, promising the space for the revival. Reportedly, there were attempts to find a compromise, including an alternate theater for The Music Man or a new home for Beetlejuice.
There is no further word on whether Beetlejuice might move to a new home on Broadway after leaving the Winter Garden on June 6.
The Shubert Organization declined to comment to EW, other than stating, “If an appropriate theater becomes available, we would certainly talk about moving the show.”