April 25th, 2019

critic

Beetlejuice


We’re gonna need a bigger flask. Wait, have I used that one yet? Whatever, theme of the season.

Beetlejuice is, I must say, a rare and unusual thing: a musical that actually gets better after intermission. Now, it only improves to generic and mediocre, but it’s better than whatever the first half was. All of the creatives are responsible, but top honors probably have to go to Eddie Perfect’s score. Over at King Kong, the set and the story drive themselves; here the score needs to do the work. I suppose it could be entertaining, but it’s still not good. And I didn’t bring enough bourbon for it to be entertaining.

Less meta, less “now” gaggery, less working so hard to be over-the-top, less trampling the lyrics, less stepping on the laughs...less would really do more and give the book a chance to shake off the weight of the score. Before intermission, at least. After intermission is paint-by-numbers and a whole other set of problems. It’s like they blew their wad just getting to the break (“Day-O”) and didn’t have time? money? energy? interest? to crap up the second half.

(I do actually have a bigger flask. But packing 8oz feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy.)