ROBIN’S SHOW REVIEW – THE ADDAMS FAMILY
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, opened on Broadway March 8th at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre in NYC.
I had the opportunity to see it this week.
The cast, led by Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, are oozing with talent. As you can imagine, there are lots of laughs and sight gags. I loved the special effects …Uncle Fester flying to the moon, their huge pet sqiud embracing an overnight guest, etc. The set was as I would have imagined….very impressive….grand staircases, cob webs, fiendish-looking works of art, and all.
Back in the day, I was a HUGE fan of THE ADDAMS FAMILY television series, and this was a welcome trip down memory lane. I would have loved more singing and dancing from Ms. Neuwirth, and Terrence Mann (who I adore) and Carolee Carmello (beautiful voice) are underutilized, but it was fun to see them rubbing tickle bones with Mr. Lane, who was in rare, if not somewhat over the top form. At times, it was like watching The Nathan Lane Show, and since I enjoy him, that’s not all bad. There was just so much talent on stage, even from the supporting cast of white-faced ghouls, that I would have welcomed a more shared spotlight.
Standouts for me were Jackie Hoffman as tart-tongued Grandma and Kevin Chamberlin as feisty Uncle Fester.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY was named Favorite New Broadway Musical of the 2009-10 season by Broadway.com’s 11th Annual Audience Awards, receiving more than 100,000 votes from theater-goers. The show also received three additional awards: Favorite On Stage Pair (Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth); Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical (Kevin Chamberlin) and Favorite Break-through Performance (Krysta Rodriguez….who plays Wednesday).
The show features an original story….every parent’s nightmare. Your little girl has become a young woman, and she’s fallen head over heals in love with an endearing, smart young man from a respectable family. Yes, Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has a “normal” boyfriend, and for parents Gomez and Morticia, it’s a shocking development that turns the Addams house upside down when they host a dinner for Wednesday’s beau man and his parents. Wednesday yearns longingly for one “normal” night, to win over her boyfriend’s folks, and it turns into anything but, especially when they wind up spending the night. (I don’t want to tell you how it all plays out…..)
It features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. The production is directed and designed (sets and costumes) by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, with creative consultation by Jerry Zaks and choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Lighting design is by Natasha Katz, sound design by Acme Sound Partners and puppetry by Basil Twist.
In a prolific career spanning six decades, Charles Addams created several thousand cartoons, sketches and drawings, many of which were published in The New Yorker. But it was his creation of characters that came to be known as The Addams Family that brought Addams his greatest acclaim. With a unique style that combined the twisted, macabre and just plain weird with charm, wit and enchantment, Addams’ drawings have entertained millions worldwide and served as the inspiration for multiple television series and motion pictures.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY is produced on Broadway by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt, Five Cent Prods., Stephen Schuler, Decca Theatricals, Scott M. Delman, Stuart Ditsky, Terry Allen Kramer, Stephanie P. McClelland, James L. Nederlander, Eva Price, Jam Theatricals/Mary Lu Roffe, Pittsburgh CLO/Gutterman-Swinsky, Vivek Tiwary/Gary Kaplan, The Weinstein Co./Clarence, LLC and Adam Zotovich/Tribe Theatricals, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical.
For more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY, visit http://www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com/.