The pre-Broadway Beetlejuice has found its ghost and the teenager who summons him: Alex Brightman (School of Rock) will play the title character, and Sophia Anne Caruso, who knocked ’em dead with her rendition of “Life on Mars?” in the David Bowie Off-Broadway musical Lazarus, has been cast as Lydia.
The actors join the previously announced creative team – including director Alex Timbers and choreographer Connor Gallagher – for the pre-Broadway staging at the National Theatre in Washington D.C.
Performances in D.C. begin Sunday, October 14, with an official opening on Sunday, November 4.
The casting announcement was made today by producers Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures’ Mark Kaufman and Langley Park Productions’ Kevin McCormick. Additional casting will be announced shortly. The musical adaptation of Beetlejuice features an original score by Eddie Perfect and a book by Scott Brown & Anthony King.
Brightman will take the role made famous by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s 1988 Warner Bros film. Winona Ryder played Lydia.
Brightman was Tony-nominated for his 2016 portrayal of Dewey Finn in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock on Broadway. His other Broadway credits include Glory Days, Wicked, Big Fish and Matilda. TV appearances include Showtime’s SMILF, CBS’ The Good Fight, USA’s Royal Pains, Comedy Central’s Important Things With Demetri Martin and an upcoming episode of Documentary Now! on IFC.
Caruso played Young Norma Jean on NBC’s Smash, and Brigitta Von Trapp in that network’s The Sound of Music Live! She made her Off-Broadway debut in 2015’s The Nether, and later that year portrayed “The Girl” in the Bowie/Enda Walsh musical Lazarus, directed by Ivo van Hove, at the New York Theater Workshop. With her showstopping performance of Bowie’s great ballad “Life on Mars?”, she moved with the production when it transferred to London’s West End in 2016.
Next year Caruso will play the teenage daughter of Kevin Bacon’s character in the new Showtime series City on a Hill executive produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd.