Lane, Neuwirth, Chamberlin, McCarthy and Arden Featured in Addams Family Reading

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and Andrew Gans
04 Aug 2008

Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane
Aubrey Reuben

The Addams Family, the new Broadway-bound musical inspired by the comically macabre characters of illustrator Charles Addams, is being tested in a Manhattan reading Aug. 4-8. It features Tony Award winners Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia.

Michael Arden, Marylouise Burke, Kevin Chamberlin and Jeff McCarthy are also among cast members. Rehearsals Aug. 4-8 are expected to lead to a private industry presentation later in the week.

The music and lyrics are by Drama Desk Award winner Andrew Lippa (Off-Broadway's The Wild Party) with a book by Tony-nominated Jersey Boys librettists Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The original musical does not draw on past film or TV versions of the characters, who are a mix of ghoulish misfits.

No casting has been announced for a planned 2009-2010 Broadway production. Reading and workshop casts don't always reflect future casting.

Improbable Theater founders Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (whose acclaimed Shockheaded Peter flirted with stylized stage horror) will direct and design. Mary-Mitchell Campbell is music director.



Elephant Eye Theatrical — the Broadway development and production company formed by Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions — will produce The Addams Family musical.

The reading cast includes Michael Arden as Lucas Beineke, Annaleigh Ashford as Wednesday Addams, Mary Birdsong as Alice Beineke, Marylouise Burke as Grandmama, Tony nominee Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester, Merwin Foard (ensemble), Matthew Gumley as Pugsley Addams, Morgan James (ensemble), Zachary James as Lurch, Nathan Lane as Gomez Addams, Robert Lenzi (ensemble), Daniel C. Levine (ensemble), Carrie Manolakos (ensemble), Jeff McCarthy as Col. Mal Beineke, Betsy Morgan (ensemble), Maurice Murphy (ensemble), Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia Addams, Krysta Rodriguez (ensemble), Katrina Rose Dideriksen (ensemble), Peter Samuel (ensemble), Daniel Torres (ensemble) and Cortney Wolfson (ensemble).

Lippa also scored jon & jen, A Little Princess and new songs for Broadway's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also wrote the score for Broadway's The Farnsworth Invention.

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Addams' career as a cartoonist spanned six decades and encompassed thousands of cartoons, sketches and drawings, many of which were famously published in The New Yorker. His greatest renown was for creating characters comprising The Addams Family. "With a unique style that combined the ghoulish, 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 and served as the inspiration for multiple television series and motion pictures," according to the 2007 Elephant Eye announcement.

"It's both an extraordinary privilege as well as a daunting responsibility being entrusted with Charles Addams' most beloved creations," stated Elephant Eye producer Stuart Oken, "though I'm confident this outstanding creative team is re-imagining the work for the stage in a way that would have made Charlie proud."

The Charles & Tee Addams Foundation was founded in 2000 by the late Tee Addams, widow of Charles Addams. The Foundation's purpose is "to interpret and share the artistic achievement of Charles Addams' life through programs developed from the artist's work and archives." Visit www.charlesaddams.com.

Bebe Neuwirth received Tony Awards for her performances in the revivals of Sweet Charity and Chicago. Her other Broadway credits include roles in A Chorus Line, Little Me, Dancin', Damn Yankees and Fosse. Known around the world for her Emmy Award-winning role as Lilith on the NBC series "Cheers," Neuwirth has also been seen on screen in "Summer of Sam," "Celebrity," "Liberty Heights," "The Associate," "Jumanji," "Bugsy," "The Paint Job," "Getting to Know You" and "Wild Palms." Neuwirth also starred in a limited engagement of Here Lies Jenny, a musical event exploring the works of Kurt Weill at Off-Broadway's Zipper Theatre.

In addition to his Tony-winning roles in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Nathan Lane has starred on The Great White Way in November, Butley, Present Laughter, Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Man Who Came to Dinner. The actor has also been featured in such films as "Addams Family Values," "Mousehunt," "Love's Labour's Lost" and "The Birdcage," scoring a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the latter. He was also seen in the film adaptation of "Nicholas Nickleby."