BWW Reviews: The Muny's Kooky and Outstanding Production of THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Cartoonist and creator of the creepy and kooky characters that make up The Addams Family, Charles Addams, probably never envisioned his work gracing the Broadway stage, but then, could anyone have imagined that such a thing would come to pass. After all, the original single panel cartoons only hinted at the oddly dark nature of his characters. The rest was fleshed out by a terrific TV show that ran in the early sixties, and a couple of feature films that came along in the early 1990's. The current production of the Broadway show is now playing The MUNY, and it's a riotously amusing presentation that had me and my son laughing at the onstage antics (book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice), and bouncing along to the catchy score (Andrew Lippa). This is an exceptional show that features a great cast who seem to be having an absolutely splendid time. The Addams Family is must-see entertainment.
The plot is relatively straight-forward, with daughter Wednesday falling for a surprisingly normal boy named Lucas Beineke, who wants to marry her. Naturally, both families are taken aback by this unexpected turn of events. The Addams, a peculiar lot, want their daughter to maintain the wacky nature of their family, while the straight-laced Beinekes would rather their son pursue a more "normal" girl for his bride to be. Will true love triumph?
Rob McClure's work as Gomez Addams is simply outstanding, providing a seemingly endless supply of funny lines (some of which reference The MUNY and other St. Louis institutions). He's torn between keeping his daughter Wednesday's (the big voiced and fetching Sara Kapner) secret while maintaining his desire to remain truthful to his wife Morticia (the lovely Jenny Powers). Steve Rosen is a riot as Uncle Fester, and Jennifer Cody is nearly unrecognizable under heavy make up as Grandma. Michael Harp, so good as Billy Elliot's friend in the opening show of the season, contributes strong work as Pugsley, and William Ryall presents an imposing figure as their butler Lurch. Dan DeLuca matches well with Sara Kapner as the lovestruck Lucas, and Hollis Resnik is also quite good as his rhyming mother Alice. John Scherer rounds out the cast as father Mal Beineke.
Marcia Milgrom Dodge directs with flair, and benefits from the fine choreography of Vince Pesce, as well as the gorgeous musical direction of Ben Whiteley. Michael Schweikardt's scenic design nicely captures the feel of the Addams family household and environs, and Nathan Sheuer's lighting keeps the actors and action clearly in focus. Andrea Lauer's costumes are absolutely perfect fits for each character, and Seth Jackson's video designs add to the overall mood and atmosphere.
Do yourself a favor and check out The MUNY's humorous and terrific production of The Addams Family. It's a laugh a minute, and it continues through July 20, 2014.