THE ADDAMS FAMILY presented by Broadway in Cincinnati through April 8. You can read the show description here.
Let’s be honest. This is a musical based on a 1960s sitcom based on a comic strip. If you have a problem with that, you probably want to stay home. If you embrace it for what it is, you’ll have a fun, light-hearted and laugh-filled time.
There are strong voices and characterizations across the board. Present are Addams family members Gomez (Douglas Sills), Morticia (CCM MT ’99 alum Sara Gettelfinger), Uncle Fester (Blake Hammond), Grandma (Pippa Peachthree), now 18 year-old Wednesday (Cortney W0lfson), Pugsley (Patrick D. Kennedy) and ever faithful butler Lurch (Tom Corbeil). Newcomers (or is that new victims) include Wednesday’s beau, Lucas (Brian Justin Crum) and his parents Alice (Victoria Huston-Elem on opening night) and Mal (Martin Vindnovic). The show also includes cameos by Thing and Cousin It.
[A few fun facts: In the television series, Uncle Fester was Morticia’s brother, not Gomez’s. Also, Wednesday was the younger Addams sibling and Grandma was referred to as “Grandmama.”]
Visually the production values are very strong. The exterior of the Addams family home and the tree on the hill overlooking the city were highlights for me. The use of flys and a curtain that divided the stage into two play areas help keep the show flowing along. One- or two- too-many ballads in the second act did slow the pace down a bit.
I really enjoyed the ensemble that serve as the pantheon of Addams ancestors. Fun characters and great costumes. When they made their first entrance on stage, I immediately thought of the “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” ghosts, another childhood favorite. Also very clever was Morticia’s “Tango de Amor” dress. You’ll know why when you see it.
A favorite number in Act II was Uncle Fester’s “The Moon and Me.” The staging was very imaginative, employing some great theater magic. Also peppered throughout the show are some fun visual gags, theater nods and pop culture references for all ages. Grandma has one of my favorite zingers in the show.
I was surprised that a few staples from the series were missing: the doorbell, the harpsichord and Lurch’s “bell” followed by “You, rang.” All minor quibbles.
Overall, fans of the television series will enjoy an evening (or afternoon) of nostalgic fun from the current Broadway touring production. My guest and I had a blast and snapped along.
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I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show (especially if you were unfamiliar with the television series) or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.