"Death Is Just Around the Corner": Broadway's Addams Family Closes Dec. 31; Revised Tour Still Haunts

News   "Death Is Just Around the Corner": Broadway's Addams Family Closes Dec. 31; Revised Tour Still Haunts
 
The Broadway musical comedy The Addams Family, inspired by the funny-macabre cartoons of Charles Addams, ends its run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre following the matinee Dec. 31. By close, it will have played 723 performances and 34 previews.

Brooke Shields and Roger Rees
Brooke Shields and Roger Rees Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Producer Stuart Oken told Playbill.com in recent months that the production, which began previews March 8, 2010, was close to recouping its investment, adding that he expected to see profits from future stock and amateur licensing, international productions and merchandising. "Yes," he said, "it will recoup."

Brooke Shields, who plays Morticia, and Tony Award winner Roger Rees, as Gomez, extended their contracts to the close date.

"We are immensely proud of the run The Addams Family will have had in Chicago and New York, and deeply grateful to our entire Addams 'family' for making it possible — the writers, creative team, the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, the cast and the entire production organization," producers Stuart Oken and Roy Furman said in a joint statement last summer, when the Dec. 31 closing was announced. "While the show's Broadway run is coming to an end, we look forward to having audiences around the country and the world embrace The Addams Family as enthusiastically as they have on Broadway."

The musical by Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman (book) and Andrew Lippa (music and lyrics) played a popular tryout in Chicago before moving to Broadway.

In Chicago, in anticipation of the Broadway engagement, producers brought in proven commercial musical director Jerry Zaks (Smokey Joe's Café, Guys and Dolls) as production consultant, and there were rewrites between Chicago and New York City. When the national tour of the show bowed in September 2011, more extensive changes — new plot points, new songs, new choreography and staging — were made to the script and score, leading to better reviews than on Broadway.  The musical, though based on characters created by Addams, was not based on prior film or TV plots involving the characters. New York critics were not warm to the show about the otherworldly clan that dwells in a haunted mansion and savors the most negative aspects of life, but its marquee title and original star cast (Tony Award winners Nathan Lane as Gomez, Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia) prompted weekly box-office receipts that often topped $1 million in the first year.

The eight-week tryout at Chicago's Oriental Theatre grossed more than $12 million.

The national tour of The Addams Family launched on Sept. 15 at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts in New Orleans. Bookings in more than 30 cities were announced. Productions of the show will open in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in spring 2012, and Sydney, Australia, in spring 2013, with several more international productions to be announced soon.

"Making a new musical is like bringing a child into the world," Oken told Playbill.com on Dec. 29. "It is brewed with love and comes with expectations. For much of its youth, it struggles. One day, if you're a good and fortunate parent, you let go and the child finds its own way. While The Addams Family had an extended adolescence, I love it with all my heart — both the Broadway production and the new productions in process. I'll be forever grateful to our extended Addams family for helping the show grow and prosper."

A cast album preserving Lippa's score is available at PlaybillStore.com

The current Broadway cast includes Shields as Morticia, who recently agreed to extend her stay with the show through its final performance; Roger Rees as Gomez; Brad Oscar as Fester, Rachel Potter as Wednesday, Jackie Hoffman as Grandma, Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Heidi Blickenstaff as Alice Beineke, Adam Grupper as Mal Beineke and Jesse Swenson as Lucas Beineke. Also in the cast of The Addams Family are Merwin Foard, Becca Ayers, Tom Berklund, Jim Borstelmann, Mo Brady, Erick Buckley, Mike Cannon, Valerie Fagan, Stephanie Gibson, Fred Inkley, Lisa Karlin, Reed Kelly, Allison Thomas Lee, Logan Rowland, Tess Soltau and Samantha Sturm.

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 is by Acme Sound Partners and puppetry is by Basil Twist. Mary-Mitchell Campbell is music director.

The show 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, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com.

Jackie Hoffman, Rachel Potter, Zachary James, Roger Rees, Brooke Shields, Brad Oscar and Adam Riegler
Jackie Hoffman, Rachel Potter, Zachary James, Roger Rees, Brooke Shields, Brad Oscar and Adam Riegler Photo by Jeremy Daniel
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