We Are Broadway


Kris Kukul of “Beetlejuice”

Speaking to the relationship between New York City and Broadway, Kris Kukul, Music Director and Orchestrator of “Beetlejuice: The Musical,” reflects on the moment Broadway shut down and the uncertainty of returning.

AIRED: December 27, 2021 | 0:03:21

I think turning movies

into musicals is tricky.

There is an expectation

from people who love the movie.

There's an expectation

from people who love musicals.

And if the movie is beloved,

it's even harder.

It's Showtime!

Welcome to a show about death,

and I'm going to need some hel.

My name is Kris Kukull

and I am the music director

of Beetlejuice The Musical.

Hi, I'll be your guide.

I'll be your G-U-I-D-E

to the other side.

Even though the movie's

not a musical, it has such

iconic music and

iconic musical moments.

It's the exciting part of it,

the collaboration part of it

and combining that

with a totally original score,

It's just a dream.

Yes, I hear that sound

Yes, we do

That beautiful sound

Yes, we do

The sound that means

No more condescending adults

Hanging around

The show was built for this...

There's a giant cheer

at the moment the downbeat

happens. You can feel it

like the wave of the audience

come over you and then

go on to the stage and feel that

I miss it.

That beautiful sound

There's just this, like, over

pouring of love all the time.

It's really special.

That beautiful sound.

In 1987

my mom took me

into New York City

to see a Broadway show.

We went to see Big River


I mean, it changed,

obviously everything

that, from that moment

my life was on a different path.

But New York, to me, meant

a Broadway show.

But I think that's true

for a lot of people.

I think that it's the essential

part of the New York experience.

So when Broadway

was completely shut down,

you could feel it missing.

You could feel a part of

the soul of the city

had just disappeared.

And you knew it was there

and you knew

it's going to come back.

But we're just waiting for it.

You know, and without it,

it's not, It's not New York.

So Lydia, don't end yourself

Defend yourself

Concurrently, we had some

struggles with the owners

of our theater who had already

promised our theater

to another show.

And so we were all

on pins and needles for

most of last year

waiting for that confirmation

and the announcement

and not knowing if it was

actually going to happen.

But we got lucky

and another theater opened up

that we were able to move to.

So when spring comes around,

we will reopen

In a new home

and just so excited.

Especially after this

crazy trajectory

between our shutting down and

restarting, Covid, everything.

Just be there with your camera

because I think it's

going to be an amazing,

amazing moment.

I'm really excited.


Well, I'm impressed

And all you've got to do

is say my name three times,

three times in a row.

It must be spoken unbroken.



Ok, go






Oh God, this is

going to be so good!


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