To be or not to be, that is the question theater lovers. I am referring to the possibility of The Addams Family possibly winning the 2010 coveted Best Musical Tony Award this year. After reading about a dozen out-of-town reviews for the new Broadway bound musical The Addams Family, the Chicago theater critics had much to say about the show. Several loved the show, and some think that with a few changes here and there, that The Addams Family musical could enjoy a very long and successful run at New York's Lunt Fontanne Theater.
The Addams Family is a brand new musical that is based on the very successful television series which ran for 64 episodes from 1964 to 1966. They were each 30 minutes in length and were filmed in black and white. The Adams Family members were an extremely close knit group that seemed to possess some supernatural powers although they were never explained to those of us that grew up watching the series. The unique concept of The Addams Famliy revolved around their cultural differences and their "odd" physical appearances from the rest of the world. They were often amazed at the reactions from others that visited their home and have had interactions with family members, as they truly think of themselves as "normal" as the rest of the outside world.
The characters were based on cartoons by Charles Addams and were published in New York magazine. The Addams Family musical that just played a limited and very successful run in Chicago, will begin preview performances on Monday March 8, 2010 at New York's Lunt Fontanne Theater. The Addams Family musical will have one of the greatest Broadway casts ever assembled on a Broadway stage. They include lead stars Nathan Lane (playing Gomez Addams) and Bebe Neuwirth (playing his wife Morticia Addams). Rounding out the cast are Addams family members Krysta Rodriguez (playing their daughter Wednesday), Adam Riegler (playing son Pugsley), Kevin Chamberlain (playing the role of Uncle Fester), Jackie Hoffman (playing Grandma), and Zachary James (playing Lurch their butler).
The three other outstanding actors that complete the cast are Terrance Mann, Carolee Carmello and Wesley Taylor who play Mal, Alice and Lucas Beinekes. The Beinekes family, is your typical average "family next door" and are key to the story in The Addams Family musical as the Addamses daughter, named Wednesday, falls for The Beinekes son Lucas and lots of fun starts when the families meet and begin to get acquainted.
The Addams Family musical book is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Directing and the creating the "incredible gothic look and design for this production are by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, usually associated with London theater productions and newly appointed creative consultant Jerry Zaks. Mr. Zaks was retained a few weeks ago to work with the shows directors and design staff. He is a legend on Broadway and is often brought into a show to streamline the story line, help with the comedic timing of jokes as well as make sure the characters are fully developed so the audience is always following the action every step of the way.
Rounding out The Addams Family creative team are Natasha Katz (lighting), Acme Sound Partners (sound), Basil Twist (puppetry), Mary Mitchell-Campbell (music direction), Greg Meeh (special effects), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and Rick Sordelet (fight direction).
The Chicago critics have said that it looks like Nathan Lane is "having the time of his professional life". I can fondly remember Mr. Lane having a grand time portraying Max Bialystock in the 2001 Broadway hit The Producers. I understand that newcomer Krysta Rodriguez, playing the role of Wednesday, is an amazing performer and that her career may very well take a giant leap forward after becoming better well known in The Addams Family musical. I hear that Bebe Neuwirth is a very solid performer in the show (playing Gomez's wife Morticia) but that her "fear for getting older" may appear to be tiresome to some after a while. Other "midlife crises" subplots apparently consume a great deal of time in the show but my guess is that's why the producers of The Addams Family may have asked Jerry Zaks to help streamline the story. To make it flow better. One Chicago Daily Herald critic said that "the culture clash alone provides enough fodder for a musical.
Anyway, I feel certain that by opening night in New York that The Addams Family will be exactly what the Broadway audiences will want to see and hear. There's an abundance of talent on stage and on the creative side of this show so with a little tweaking here and there, many of us in the Broadway ticket business are thinking The Addams Family could be a monster size hit.
For anyone that grew up with television's The Addams Family, you may recall the "catchy" opening number played just before each episode began. Here goes:
Da-da-da-DUM, snap, snap!
Da-da-da-DUM, snap, snap!
They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky,
The Addams Family
If you want to hear more, simply consider calling upon New York City's Broadway ticket experts at Applause Theater Service. These folks see all the Broadway Shows and know the city like the palm of their hand. If you want to talk about obtaining some great tickets to what could very well become the 2010 Best Musical Tony Award winning show called The Addams Family, we are here to help. Our local phone line is 212-307-7050 or you can call 800-451-9930. Seven days a week.
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