They're creepy and they're kooky . . .

PlayBlog   They're creepy and they're kooky . . .
The musical elephant in the room when it comes to making a wholly original musical populated by the "Addams Family" characters of illustrator Charles Addams is this: Do you include the famous theme song from the 1960s TV sitcom, "The Addams Family," or do you not? Do you satisfy an audience's desire to smile and applaud a pop-culture reference that they know, love and expect, or do you create your own unique creature with no apologies? Or do you compromise and offer a snippet — the iconic four-note vamp and finger snaps to the theme song? Will we hear the lyrics about the characters being "creepy" and "kooky" and "mysterious" and "ooky"?

Fans of composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) can't help but be curious about the question. "I know," a spokesman for The Addams Family, the musical, told, "but I think we're going to stay mum on it for the time being!"

The musical comedy with an original book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice is being readied for its pre-Broadway Chicago world premiere, to start Nov. 13 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. The Lunt-Fontanne will be its Broadway home, where performances begin March 4, 2010.

No doubt the same musical-interpolation question came up during the creation of Shrek the Musical, a show that was partly inspired by the pop-filled Hollywood animated feature. Does a producer include the Monkees' "I'm a Believer," heard in the film, or stand by the new, original (and later Tony Award-nominated) stage score by Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire? As it turns out, there was a compromise: "I'm a Believer" is heard as the post-curtain exit music. Being the last infectious thing the audience hears, the result is that you hum along to not a new Broadway song, but an old pop hit. —Kenneth Jones

"The Addams Family" - Opening Theme

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