Thursday, March 11, 2010

Addams Family on Broadway - A Review



I couldn't wait for the official opening, I had to attend the show in its first week of previews. The verdict? Loved it. Now, in more detail...

From the opening notes of the well-known theme, any Addams Family fan was filled with adrenaline. The curtains paredt with a live portrait of the entire family. The elaborate sets were as much the stars of the show as the performers. (This is not a slight to the actors, but a compliment to the production designers).

Bebe Neuwirth, I can think of no stage actress more suited to the role of Morticia, but the show is clearly commanded by Nathan Lane's Gomez. Keeping the emotional heart of the show was a whimsical Kevin Chamberlain as Uncle Fester.

The basic plot revolves around a grown-up Wednesday Addams (Krysta Rodriguez). She has fallen in love with a (gasp!) 'normal' boy from Ohio, and is bringing his parents to meet the Addams.

I was afraid the overall spirit of creepy and kooky would be watered down for the mass audiences of Broadway. Fortunately, I found the first half of the show's humor deliciously dark (and twisted!). The second half of the show however, wandered back into more conventional musical theater structure. There were several "emotional" family scenes meant to tug at your heart strings that played it pretty straight. Perhaps this was for the benefit of those who were thrown on edge at the first act?

The biggest laughs definitely came from Jackie Hoffman's Grandma. The reputation that preceded her is that she improvises many of her lines during the show. Her prolific jaw can drop as much as yours will at some of the gags coming out of her mouth.

A fantastic 'romantic' scene with Uncle Fester and the moon doesn't exactly move along the story, but the puppetry and effects created a very entertaining bit. Other hand propelled creatures proved to be good co-stars throughout the show. The ghostly ancestors chorus showcased some of the best Gothic and Steampunk costumes for the stylishly inclined.

Morticia looked elegantly dark in a skintight, "Cut to Venezuela" fishtail gown that would make most men pull their hair out. Gomez Addams' dapper suits complemented his flamboyant persona perfectly. The show's use of a yellow dress simultaneously outlined one character's angst, another character's shortcomings and was the subject of one of Morticia's best lines.

Whether you were a fan of the Barry Sonnenfeld movies
, old tv show
, or an admirer of the original Charles Addams cartoons
, the show paid tribute nicely to all three. This one is a must-see folks...Get your tickets soon!

Photos from Broadway.com

3 comments:

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Broadway Tickets said...

The Addams Family house was not “inspired” by any structure other than the actual house used in filming, which is located in Exeter, New Hampshire.

itunes gift card email delivery said...

I can think of no stage actress more suited to the role of Morticia, but the show is clearly commanded by Nathan Lane's Gomez. Keeping the emotional heart of the show was a whimsical Kevin Chamberlain as Uncle Fester.

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