Presley Ryan’s TikToks Have Made Beetlejuice Broadway’s Hottest Ticket
But the production is being booted out of its current home on June 6. What gives?
When Presley Ryan was in middle school, she and her friends spent hours making videos on Musical.ly. And around a year ago, some of those friends kept talking about “the new Musical.ly” — TikTok. The star of Broadway show Beetlejuice The Musical downloaded the app and started playing around with it.
At 16 the youngest cast member in the musical, Ryan’s older colleagues often ask her about high school trends and what kids are into these days — a way to help them connect with younger relatives. Such a conversation happened in June after the prestigious Tony Awards, where the production was nominated for eight awards. “A few of us were hanging out in the vocal booth during the show and the conversation turned, as it often does, to the latest trends,” explains Presley. “Alex Brightman asked me to explain and teach them about TikTok.”
So Ryan showed her castmates the ins and outs of the app. They liked what they saw, and wanted to try it themselves. So using Ryan’s TikTok account, they started small, recording a simple video with Dana Steingold and Jill Abramovitz dancing along to ‘Bad Guy’ by Bllie Eilish.
“It’s so funny to watch it back now and to see them trying to figure out the technology,” says Ryan. Since then, she’s uploaded more than 30 videos to the platform, most of them showing other members of the Beetlejuice cast in character and costume.
“TikTok was a game changer for Beetlejuice because it allowed our original cast recording to reach millions more young people than Broadway marketing campaigns usually allow,” explains Jennifer Graessle, social media manager for the musical.
Graessle believes the musical’s songs work well on TikTok because of their quick, quirky lyrics. The success on TikTok has helped drive 150 million streams for the cast recording, “and its popularity…