By Kenneth Jones
11 May 2009
Lane (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Producers) and Neuwirth (Sweet Charity, Chicago) will play bizarre husband and wife Gomez and Morticia, respectively.
Also creating roles in the show's fall world-premiere tryout at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre in Chicago will be two-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann (Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables) as Mal Beineke, two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello (Parade, Lestat) as Alice Beineke, two-time Tony Award nominee Kevin Chamberlin (Seussical, Dirty Blonde) as Uncle Fester, Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray, Xanadu) as Grandmama, Zachary James (South Pacific) as Lurch, Adam Riegler (Shrek) as Pugsley, Wesley Taylor (Theatre World Award winner and Outer Critics' Circle nominee this year for Rock of Ages) as Lucas Beineke and Krysta Rodriguez (In the Heights) as Wednesday.
Many of the names (including Lane and Neuwirth) were attached to readings and developmental workshops of the show. It will mark the first time Neuwirth creates an original principal role on Broadway; the veteran has had much success in popular revivals, including Damn Yankees and Chicago.
The Broadway producers announced the musical's casting on May 11. The world premiere starts Nov. 12 prior to a Broadway launch on March 4, 2010. It will open at a Broadway Nederlander theatre to be announced on April 8.
The Addams Family is produced by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical.
Here's how the producers characterize the story: "Storm clouds are gathering over the Addams Family manse. Daughter Wednesday, now 18, is experiencing a sensation that surprises and disgusts her — caring about another person. Young Pugsley, jealous of his sister's attention, begs her to keep torturing him, severely, while mother Morticia, conflicted over her daughter's lurch into womanhood, fears being upstaged and discarded...like yesterday's road kill. All the while, father Gomez — master of the revels, mischievous and oblivious as ever — would prefer everything and everyone remain as it is. But when outsiders come to dinner, the events of one night will change forever this famously macabre family — a family so very different from your own...or maybe not."
Direction and design are by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (already acclaimed for Shockheaded Peter, a revue of macabre, violent tales). Choreography is by Sergio Trujillo (Guys and Dolls, Next to Normal, Jersey Boys). Musical direction is by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Broadway's recent Company).
Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets now for The Addams Family in Chicago by calling the toll-free number (877) 233-2671. Individual tickets will be placed on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster later this year.
For more information on The Addams Family visit www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com.
In a prolific career spanning six decades, Charles Addams created several thousand cartoons, sketches and drawings, many of which were published in The New Yorker. His creation of characters that came to be known as The Addams Family brought Addams his greatest acclaim. "With a unique style that combined the twisted, macabre and just plain weird with charm, wit and enchantment, Addams' drawings of Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandmama, Lurch and Thing have entertained millions worldwide," according to production notes.