The acclaimed actor ("The West Wing") and director (Peter and the Starcatcher) is reuniting with friend and fellow "Cheers" star Bebe Neuwirth, the two-time Tony winner (Sweet Charity, Chicago) who created the role of Morticia Addams in the macabre musical comedy. Gomez and Morticia are the heads of household in the Addams' haunted mansion at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Rees replaces Nathan Lane, who exited the show on March 6. Merwin Foard played Gomez in the interim, although sneaky Rees played the March 18 performance, surprising the audience.
Neuwirth and Rees previously co-created an evening of Kurt Weill songs (with dance) called Here Lies Jenny. It played Off-Broadway and West Coast performances.
The Addams Family got fresh blood March 8 in the form of new cast members, including Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar, Franz of The Producers, as Uncle Fester. Oscar replaced Kevin Chamberlin as the ghoulish and charming Fester in the musical comedy inspired by characters created by illustrator Charles Addams.
Also starting March 8 were Heidi Blickenstaff (as outsider Alice Beineke, created by Carolee Carmello), Adam Grupper (as starchy husband Mal Beineke, created by Terrence Mann), Rachel Potter (Wednesday, created by Krysta Rodriguez) and Jesse Swenson (Lucas Beineke, Wednesday's "normal" new boyfriend, created by Wesley Taylor).
Lane, Chamberlin, Carmello, Mann, Rodriguez and Taylor left the show March 6, at the end of their contracts. Continuing in the roles they originated are Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley Addams and Jackie Hoffman as Grandma.
The Addams Family features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. 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.
Read the recent Playbill.com Diva Talk column interview with Blickenstaff, who is best known for [title of show].
A national touring company of Addams Family will premiere in New Orleans in September of this year. Several international productions are planned and will be announced shortly.
For more information, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com.