What Bliss! The Addams Family Will Die Dec. 31; Tour Currently in Rehearsal

News   What Bliss! The Addams Family Will Die Dec. 31; Tour Currently in Rehearsal
The Broadway musical comedy The Addams Family will close at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Dec. 31 following 725 performances and 34 previews, the producers announced.

Brooke Shields and Roger Rees
Brooke Shields and Roger Rees Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Brooke Shields, who plays Morticia in the show inspired by the funny-macabre cartoons of Charles Addams, recently extended her contract to that date.

"We are immensely proud of the run The Addams Family will have had in Chicago and New York, and deeply grateful to our entire Addams 'family' for making it possible — the writers, creative team, the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, the cast and the entire production organization," producers Stuart Oken and Roy Furman said in a joint statement. "While the show's Broadway run is coming to an end, we look forward to having audiences around the country and the world embrace The Addams Family as enthusiastically as they have on Broadway."

The musical by Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman (book) and Andrew Lippa (music and lyrics) played a popular tryout in Chicago before beginning Broadway previews on March 8, 2010.

For the Broadway engagement, proven commercial musical director Jerry Zaks (Smokey Joe's Café, Guys and Dolls) was brought in as production consultant, and there were rewrites between Chicago and New York City.

The musical, though based on characters created by Addams, was not based on prior film or TV plots involving the characters. Critics were not warm to the show about the otherworldly clan that dwells in a haunted mansion and savors the most negative aspects of life, but its marquee title and original star cast (Tony Award winners Nathan Lane as Gomez, Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia) prompted box office receipts that often topped $1 million in the first year. (A recoupment was not announced.) The eight-week tryout at Chicago's Oriental Theatre grossed more than $12 million.

The national tour of The Addams Family launches on Sept. 15 at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts in New Orleans. Bookings are planned in more than 30 cities through 2012. Productions of the show will open in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in spring 2012, and Sydney, Australia, in spring 2013, with several more international productions to be announced soon.

A cast album preserving Lippa's score is in stores.

The current Broadway cast includes Shields as Morticia, who recently agreed to extend her stay with the show through its final performance; Roger Rees as Gomez; Brad Oscar as Fester, Rachel Potter as Wednesday, Jackie Hoffman as Grandma, Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Heidi Blickenstaff as Alice Beineke, Adam Grupper as Mal Beineke and Jesse Swenson as Lucas Beineke. Also in the cast of The Addams Family are Merwin Foard, Becca Ayers, Tom Berklund, Jim Borstelmann, Mo Brady, Erick Buckley, Mike Cannon, Valerie Fagan, Stephanie Gibson, Fred Inkley, Lisa Karlin, Reed Kelly, Allison Thomas Lee, Jessica Lea Patty, Logan Rowland and Samantha Sturm.

The production is directed and designed (sets and costumes) by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, with creative consultation by Jerry Zaks and choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Lighting design is by Natasha Katz, sound design is by Acme Sound Partners and puppetry is by Basil Twist. Mary-Mitchell Campbell is music director.

The show is produced on Broadway by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt, Five Cent Prods., 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 Co./Clarence, LLC and Adam Zotovich/Tribe Theatricals, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical.

For more information, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com.

Brooke Shields and company
Brooke Shields and company Photo by Jeremy Daniel
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