15 Questions in 15 Minutes with Rob McClure from ‘Beetlejuice’

Currently featured as the nerdy dead guy Adam Maitland in the award-winning Broadway premiere of the new musical adaptation of Beetlejuice, Rob McClure keeps on racking up those fifteen minutes of fame. From his 2013 Tony-nominated portrayal of Chaplin, to his acclaimed roles in the Broadway and national touring productions of Something Rotten! (as Nick Bottom) and Avenue Q (playing Princeton/Rod), to his Barrymore Award-winning performances in the greater Philadelphia area (where he was born and lives), McClure continues to delight audiences with his triple-threat talents and affable personality.

Rob McClure.
Rob McClure. Photo courtesy of the artist.

With an on-stage schedule of eight shows per week, the original Broadway cast album of Beetlejuice (for Ghostlight Records and Warner Bros. Records) that dropped on June 7, a live appearance at the Tony Awards on June 9, a calendar booked full with special events, and an infant daughter (with his wife and fellow actor Maggie Lakis), it’s a wonder that Rob was able to find fifteen minutes of free time to answer some questions about the show and his reactions to it.

Rob McClure in Beetlejuice. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

1. Do you believe in ghosts?

Rob: I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but I’m open to the idea that I’m wrong! 

  1.  Outside of eight times a week in the show, have you ever had a paranormal experience in real life?

I have not.

3. What scares you?

Snakes and sharks. 

  1. Were you a fan of the Beetlejuice movie before being cast in the musical?

Huge fan! I have home movies of me doing the “Day-O” dance around my kitchen table when I was seven.

  1. What is it about Tim Burton?

He has a way of channeling the macabre into something funny and beautiful.

Sophia Anne Caruso, Rob McClure, and Kerry Butler in Beetlejuice. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
  1. What three personality traits do you share with your character Adam Maitland?

We love a restoration project. We both love a cheesy joke, and we’ll both do whatever it takes for the people we love.

  1. Have you ever been hesitant to take “the next step” – as Adam is?  

Of course. Who hasn’t?  

  1. What’s your favorite moment in the show? 

I don’t want to give it away, but there’s a moment in Act 2, where Adam needs to step up to get them all out of a dangerous situation.

  1. Which joke in Beetlejuice always keeps you laughing?

Don’t wanna give any away.

Alex Brightman, Rob McClure, and Kerry Butler in Beetlejuice. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
  1. Which of Beetlejuice’s irreverent lines do you find the most shocking?

I don’t wanna give any away!

  1. Did you go through a Goth phase in the ‘80s or ‘90s?

I never hit a Goth phase. I was always pretty chipper.  

  1. What’s your favorite Harry Belafonte song?

His entire Calypso album.

  1. What three emotions do you feel right before show time?

Excitement, anticipation, and gratitude.

Rob McClure in Chaplin. Photo by Joan Marcus.
  1. Before Beetlejuice, what was your most memorable experience in the theater?

So hard to narrow it down to one. I’d say doing Chaplin when his family came to see it. 

  1. What do you love most about being on Broadway?

The relationship between us and the audience, the give and take of energy. The idea that we provide the audience with an entertaining glimpse in the mirror of their own humanity, in the hopes that they leave transformed.

Thanks, Rob, for sharing a fast fifteen minutes. Congratulations to you and the entire cast and team of Beetlejuice for all of the well-deserved accolades the show has received.

Beetlejuice plays an open-ended run, at the Winter Garden Theatre – 1634 Broadway, NYC. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200, or purchase them online.