Producers Hire Jerry Zaks to Oversee Changes to Addams Family Musical

By Ernio Hernandez
and Kenneth Jones
December 28, 2009

Director Jerry Zaks has been added the creative team of the new musical The Addams Family, taking over the production and supervising significant changes, the show's producers told The New York Times.

Director-designers Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) are still with the production, according to the Times, with Zaks taking a creative consultant credit. Producer Stuart Oken told the publication that Zaks will be at the helm of the musical with Broadway newcomers McDermott and Crouch providing input.

With four Tony Awards for Direction — including back-to-back wins for critical and commercial smashes Six Degrees of Separation and Guys and Dolls — Jerry Zaks is no stranger to show doctoring. He has been brought in to rework such varied Broadway musicals as Smokey Joe's Cafe, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Capeman. As a result of this new assignment, Zaks has amicably bowed out of All About Me, the Dame Edna/Michael Feinstein show headed to the Henry Miller's theatre Feb. 19.

Currently playing its pre-Broadway engagement at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago through Jan. 10, 2010, Addams is scheduled to begin previews at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre March 4.


"Based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams," The Addams Family, according to producers, follows "the famously macabre Addams Family [who are] put to the test when outsiders come to dinner, hurling Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Fester, Grandma and Lurch headlong into a night that will change the family forever."

The Addams Family has a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (librettists of the musical Jersey Boys), music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party). Choreography is by Sergio Trujillo (Next to Normal, Jersey Boys).

Starring two-time Tony Award winners Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia, The Addams Family features Terrence Mann as Mal Beineke, Carolee Carmello as Alice Beineke, 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 features lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Acme Sound Partners and puppetry by Basil Twist.

The production also features music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, orchestrations by Larry Hochman, dance arrangements by August Eriksmoen, hair design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone, special effects design by Greg Meeh and fight direction by Rick Sordelet.

The Addams Family is produced by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt, Five Cent Productions, Stephen Schuler, Decca Theatricals, 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, by Special Arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical.

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