In the past few months, Broadway’s Beetlejuice musical has had a remarkable comeback from near (un)death, rising steadily at the box office from mixed reviews, though Vulture liked it more than some thanks to enthusiastic fans and even people who love the songs on TikTok. But that comeback story wasn’t enough to keep Beetlejuice alive through the next year. The musical announced today that it will play its last performance at the Winter Garden Theatre on June 6, making way, as the Times reports, for super-producer Scott Rudin’s Hugh Jackman–led revival of The Music Man. According to the Times, Beetlejuice’s producers are still trying hard not to make peace with the whole being dead thing, hunting for other available Broadway theaters, and announcing a national tour that will start in 2021.
Directed by Alex Timbers (also of Moulin Rouge!) with music from Eddie Perfect and a book by Anthony King and former New York theater critic Scott Brown, Beetlejuice struggled with bad buzz during its out-of-town tryout in D.C. and took home no Tony awards out of its eight nominations. But unlike the season’s other big movie-to-musical adaptation, Tootsie, which earned more Tony nominations and two wins but fizzled at the box office and will close in January, Beetlejuice found its audience, especially online and specifically with the TikTok teens. Over Thanksgiving, the show even set a box-office record for the Winter Garden (suck it, Cats).
According to the Times, the theater owners at the Shubert Organization notified Beetlejuice that they were kicking the show out in October, operating a stop clause based on its lagging sales in May even though the show’s sales have markedly increased since then. Per that report, the Shuberts plan to move The Music Man into the Winter Garden next year, though that production has said it won’t formally announce its home until January (they’re currently selling tickets anyway). On the theater owners’ end, the idea is probably that a big Music Man revival with Jackman and Sutton Foster could sell even more tickets, but are the teens really going to start making “Wells Fargo Wagon” memes? If they do, we would love to see it.