Sunday, April 21, 2024

Broadway Mystery: 18 Year Old Star of “Beetlejuice” Sophia Anne Caruso Exits Show Abruptly, Rumors Abound


It’s been a long, cold winter on Broadway. Not much has been happening besides “West Side Story” opening to vicious reviews. (The Wall Street Journal called it “Worst Side Story.”)

So a little brouhaha has gone a long way. Sophia Anne Caruso, the 18 year old star of the hit musical, “Beetlejuice,” left the show this past Wednesday without so much as a goodbye. She simply posted news of her exit on Instagram and was gone. Caruso originated the role of Lydia Deetz, the role made famous in the film by Winona Ryder.

The press agent for the show said in a statement that Caruso had taken advantage of an “out” in her contract so she could do TV work. But that makes little to no sense. For one thing, it’s unlikely she had an “out” in the 11th month of the show’s run. Also, “Beetlejuice” is set to close in June. For another thing, it’s not like Caruso as a TV career to go to. And leaving a hit show– “Beetlejuice” makes more than $1 million a week– under a cloud isn’t a good way to start any career, on TV or Broadway.

A source with the show told me, “No one knows what’s going on. Usually when a star of a show leaves there’s notice, and a party, at least a cake, and a goodbye. She is just…gone.”

There are plenty of rumors on the ‘net of Caruso being fired, not getting along with her co-star Alex Brightman, who plays Beetlejuice, and so on.

Caruso’s understudy, Presley Ryan, will step up and play Lydia for the time being. She should just get the role at this point. If anyone knows more, please email me at


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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