By Kenneth Jones
22 Mar 2010
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Mrs. Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, were not scheduled to meet the cast of the new musical about a creepy, gothic family. The show, with songs by Andrew Lippa, is drawn from the characters created by illustrator Charles Addams.
The First Family is bringing a bright spotlight to Broadway this week. On March 21, the Obamas (minus President Barack Obama) attended the matinee of Memphis at the Shubert Theatre.
The private schedule of the First Family has not been announced, due to security issues, so it is not known if the Obamas will be seeing more Broadway shows this week.
The March 22 performance began on time. The Obamas were quietly seated in the orchestra section just before the start of the show, Playbill.com learned. (It was originally reported that they were in the balcony.)
A health-care joke in the script has been popular with audiences in the week leading to the March 21 Congressional vote on health-care reform, and was especially resonant with Mrs. Obama in the house, observers said.
The cast, crew and musicians were aware of the presence of the First Family shortly before the performance; a Secret Service sweep is an obvious tipoff.
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, the conductor and music supervisor of the show, admitted that she resisted the urge to look out into the house for a glimpse of the Obamas; there was work to be done, after all.
Campbell told Playbill.com, "We were extremely honored, excited and proud that she came to see our show."