Friday, October 30, 2009


With the death last week of Vic Mizzy at 93, the composer of “The Addams Family” TV music, we begin another generation of dramatic interpretations of the famous macabre clan with the incarnation of “Addams Family – The Musical”.

The jury is not even in session yet on this one until after its’ premiere in Chicago on November 13, to be followed early next year by a Broadway run. There is something promising, although a little predictable about the casting of Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia, but the signing of Nathan Lane as Gomez makes one want to wait until at least a few of the votes are in.

The story will be told from the point of view of Uncle Fester and the character of Wednesday will be a budding 18 year old, fulfilling at least one adolescent Halloween fantasy.

The brightly colored and surrealistic preliminary sketches of the stage design suggests a radical departure from the black and white atmosphere established by the original single panel cartoons, which could be either a much needed departure or just the thing to send you running back to John Astin and Carolyn Jones.

Former Woody Allen writer Marshall Brickman, cowriter of the book, along with his creative partner from “The Jersey Boys” is not an entirely comfortable fit and the credits of composer Andrew Lippa are just varied and scant enough to keep you awake at night.

But time will tell. The Addams Family has survived its’ New Yorker magazine origin, a TV series, an animated cartoon series and of course, the recent movies.

In the meantime, you can’t go wrong reading the well written biography of the original creator, “Charles Addams : A Cartoonist’s Life” from 2006.

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