A song deeply rooted in Beetlejuice’s pop-culture presence had a special significance during the August 14 performance of the Broadway musical, as “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” writer Lord Burgess came on stage at the Winter Garden Theatre to celebrate his 95th birthday.
Alex Brightman, who plays the title character, introduced Burgess in a short speech about the calypso-style songwriter’s connection to Harry Belafonte (who sang for the recording featured in the film) and the musical. Leslie Kritzer, who plays Delia Deetz and Miss Argentina in the stage adaptation, led the sing-along of the Act I closer.
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Burgess wrote several songs for Harry Belafonte’s Calypso, which is the first album to ever sell more than one million copies. In total, the composer created over 30 songs for Belafonte throughout his career.
Watch Burgess, Brightman, Kritzer, and the audience sing “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” above.