Zaks Is New Patriarch of Addams Family; Previews Will Now Begin March 8

By Kenneth Jones
29 Dec 2009

Jerry Zaks
Jerry Zaks

The producers of the new musical The Addams Family confirmed on Dec. 29 that director Jerry Zaks will join the show as a creative consultant and work with the entire creative team over the next three months as they prepare for an April 8 opening at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Preview performances will now begin March 8 rather than March 4.

"We are very pleased that Jerry is willing and eager to come on board at this point in the process to collaborate with our creative team to insure that the show achieves its full potential for its Broadway debut," stated producer Stuart Oken. "Jerry is one of the great talents in our industry and we're blessed to have him join our Addams family. We're also grateful to Jeffrey Richards and the other producers of All About Me for helping to make this possible."

Zaks was set to direct the new Dame Edna-Michael Feinstein Broadway show, All About Me. He has reportedly been released from that production to work on The Addams Family.

Based on the characters created by American cartoonist Charles Addams, The Addams Family features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, direction and design by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch and choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Mary-Mitchell Campbell is musical director.

Producer Roy Furman stated, "We have a show that is receiving outstanding audience reaction at every performance in its Chicago tryout and which has generated extremely strong ticket sales and many positive reviews, but we believe the show can be even better, and Jerry's formidable talent will help us achieve that goal."

The musical stars two-time Tony Award winners Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia, The Addams Family features two-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann as Mal Beineke, two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello as Alice Beineke, two-time Tony Award nominee Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester, Jackie Hoffman as Grandma, Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Wesley Taylor as Lucas Beineke and Krysta Rodriguez as Wednesday.

The Addams Family is produced by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical. Co-producers are Stephen Schuler, Decca Broadway, 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 Company/Clarence, LLC and Adam Zotovich/Tribe Theatricals.

Zaks most recently directed Broadway's A Bronx Tale starring Chazz Palminteri. For City Center Encores! he recently directed the acclaimed productions of Girl Crazy as well as Stairway to Paradise. He has received four Tony Awards, four Drama Desks, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, and an Obie. He has directed more than 30 productions in New York, including Guys and Dolls (Tony Award), Six Degrees of Separation (Tony Award), Lend Me a Tenor (Tony Award), House of Blue Leaves (Tony Award), A Funny Thing…Forum (Tony Award nomination), Smokey Joe's Café (Tony Award nomination), Anything Goes (Tony Award nomination), La Cage aux Folles (Tony Award, Outstanding Musical Revival), The Foreigner (Obie Award), The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award) and more.