November 30, 2023

ABOVE PHOTO: A scene from “Beetlejuice The Musical”from left: Britney Coleman (Barbara), Will Burton (Adam), Isabella Esler (Lydia) and Justin Collette (Beetlejuice).  Photograph by Matthew Murphy, 2022 

By Kharisma McIlwaine

“Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice…” one shouldn’t end that phrase until they welcome what follows.

 The 1988 film “Beetlejuice” grew to become an on the spot cult basic and stays a fan favourite many years later. It tells the story of Barbara and Adam Maitland, a just lately deceased couple searching for to regain management of their previous home by haunting its new inhabitants, the Deetzes. After many failed makes an attempt at scaring the Deetzes away, the Maitlands enlist the assistance of the mischievous spirit Beetlejuice to assist them — then shenanigans ensue. 

The story of “Beetlejuice” was tailored for theater in 2018, with a musical premiere on the Nationwide Theatre in Washington, D.C. “Beetlejuice The Musical” made its Broadway debut on the Winter Backyard Theatre on April 25, 2019. Because of the pandemic, the present closed in March 2020, and reopened on Broadway on the Marquis Theatre in April 2022, earlier than finishing its Broadway run in January 2023. Now “Beetlejuice The Musical” is again, higher than ever, and on the highway for a U.S. nationwide tour. Ann Arbor, Michigan native Britney Coleman performs Barbara Maitland within the nationwide tour. Coleman spoke with the SUN about her function as Barbara and her pleasure about being a part of this forged. 

Due to her household’s musical pedigree, Coleman had a pure affinity for this artwork type. 

“My dad’s aspect of the household may be very musical,” she mentioned. “He’s one among 10, and all people grew up within the church enjoying completely different devices. My dad was the drummer, so he sort of launched that into my life.”

Coleman’s love for music was additional nourished by a artistic elementary faculty trainer, who took an unorthodox strategy to music courses.

“I had a really formidable elementary faculty trainer who got here to our college and determined to show our music courses into 45-minute variations of huge musicals,” she mentioned. “We did “The Secret Backyard,” “West Facet Story,” [and] somewhat Gilbert and Sullivan with “Pirates of Penzance” —  these had been the massive three after I was there.”

Coleman discovered her tribe and group in theater as she approached her highschool and school years. She went on to attend the College of Michigan, the place she majored in musical theater.

“Rising up there, I didn’t notice how good of a college it was, as a result of I used to be there and I didn’t have any context,” Coleman mentioned. “After I received in, I began getting calls from present college students in this system and facility, and mentioned, ‘This may really be a extremely good match, and my dad and mom would like it if I used to be simply down the road,’ in order that labored out rather well.”

“A variety of these applications have what’s known as “showcases,” the place they principally put collectively very brief snippets of performances from every senior pupil that’s graduating, and so they do that present for brokers each wherever the varsity is situated and in New York. So, we principally received ushered proper into town after graduating.”

After commencement, Coleman went on to land roles in a number of Broadway musicals together with “Tootsie,” ”Sundown Boulevard,” and “Stunning: The Carole King Musical.” 

“I received fortunate,” she mentioned. “I received linked up with a extremely great agent — I’ve been with them since. They received me a variety of great auditions and I received my union card simply a few months after that.”

Coleman, who’s a fan of the unique “Beetlejuice” film, is happy to now be a part of the forged of “ Beetlejuice The Musical.”

“I used to be doing a present on Broadway that was virtually precisely on the identical schedule as “Beetlejuice” [the musical] when it first opened pre-pandemic,” Coleman mentioned. “We had been doing these ticket exchanges, and I went with virtually your entire forged of my present. We didn’t know what to anticipate… a variety of the opinions had been blended. All of us mentioned, ‘We’re followers of the film — let’s see what occurs.’ All of us walked away feeling so joyous.”

“It’s been great (now being a part of the present),” Coleman added. “We’ve had a variety of followers from each. The Broadway present had this actually loopy fandom surrounding it and taking it throughout the nation, we’re additionally getting followers of the film. Lots of people are getting the direct film references that we have now within the present and discovering this new means that we’ve sort of handled the film materials to make it right into a enjoyable, actually heartwarming musical. There’s a lot to remove from the musical, it’s actually wild. The help has been completely great.”

The nationwide tour of “Beetlejuice The Musical” combines a variety of the weather that followers cherished from the film and the Broadway manufacturing to create an all-around unbelievable expertise.

“It’s such a enjoyable, good time on the present,” Coleman mentioned. “Beetlejuice is principally a slapstick comedian for many of the present. Then our Lydia character, the heroine of our story — she is simply so fierce and there are some gut-wrenching moments.  It’s stuffed with a lot coronary heart.”

Within the tour, Coleman performs Barbara Maitland, one half of the couple the Beetlejuice story is centered round.

“I play Barbara Maitland,” she mentioned. “That is the character performed by Geena Davis within the film. You meet the Maitlands. They’re organising this home that they’ve been constructing from the bottom up. Inside the first jiffy of assembly them, they die. They do it a method within the film, a method on Broadway, and we do it a special means on the tour. That’s how we get despatched into this world the place this Beetlejuice demon exists, who can also be in the home and is simply making an attempt to develop into alive and get again to the world. He’s capable of sort of trick Lydia into doing that. So, Lydia and her household transfer into the home proper after the Maitlands die and he or she’s capable of see the Maitlands. The three of us sort of go on this wild journey with Beetlejuice collectively.”

“Beetlejuice The Musical” is stuffed with iconic strains and musical numbers. Coleman shared one among her private favourite moments within the present.

“We’ve a music known as “Fright of Their Lives” that’s principally like a coaching montage a la 1988 “Karate Child” fashion, the place Beetlejuice is making an attempt to show the Maitlands tips on how to scare individuals,” she mentioned. “The Maitlands have by no means executed this earlier than and so they’re fairly dangerous at it, however they’re having a lot enjoyable. Beetlejuice is beside himself, he’s so uninterested in them by the top of the quantity. It’s so enjoyable, and it’s barely completely different each evening, as a result of there’s an improv facet to it. It seems like a rock present, and we have now this actually superior band.” 

“It’s not fairly often that you just’re a part of a present that may principally promote itself,” Coleman added. “A variety of that’s due to the followers. It’s nice that each time we stroll out on stage or go to a brand new place, there’s at all times going to be people who find themselves hooting and hollering and that’s actually particular, as a result of not each present will get that. The help is superior!”

Britney Coleman may also tackle the lead function of Bobbie within the new North American tour of Firm, which will probably be a part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus & Shubert Group’s 23/24 Broadway Collection, enjoying on the Forrest Theatre from November 27 via December 10.

Within the interim, be sure you observe Britney on IG @britneycoleman and go to her web site at: 

“Beetlejuice The Musical” will probably be on the Academy of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus from Might 30 via  June 11. For extra particulars on tickets and showtimes, go to: