Click Here for More Articles on ADDAMS FAMILY

BWW Interviews: Brooke Shields and The Company of THE ADDMAS FAMILY on Their Newest Matriarch

On Tuesday, June 28, THE ADDAMS FAMILY welcomed stage and screen star Brooke Shields in the role of Morticia Addams, made famous by Bebe Neurwirth. Shields joined current Broadway cast members 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.

On July 7, Shields officially opened in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Richard Ridge was there with BroadwayWorld to talk with the company about the addition of their newest matriarch. 

Brooke Shields (Morticia)

Welcome home to Broadway! How does it feel?

It is a home. They really make you feel like they're waiting for you, and that it's your home, and that you belong there. It's great - it's absolutely the biggest honor.

How did this show come into your life?

They approached my agent! I had seen the show with my daughter. I'm a friend and fan of Bebe's and I saw her do it. Who knows, maybe they got an idea and they knew Bebe was going to leave, but she was amazing in helping me transition into the cast. And they asked if I'd be willing to do it, and I thought 'Who says no to playing Morticia?'

Talk about what you love about the musical and this role.

I love the heart in it. For as much as it's ghoulish and ghostly and morbid with eyeballs and appendages - and I love that - there is something at its core that is really touching. It's a surprise every time to see this family, as dysfunctional as it is have real issues and they're really working them out. But their love gets them through, and you wouldn't expect that in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. They've somehow done that with the book. When you get inside the music, it's surprising to me and it's beautiful.

Talk a little about how it feels to transform into Morticia, putting on the outfit, the nails, the wig...

Well we do our own make-up. And that's one of the things that people don't ever realize, is that when you're in theatre, you do your own make-up. It's a very meditative time, and I love it. The minute the lips go on and then the hair goes on, your posture sort of changes. There's a regalness that you feel - and by the way I can't move in the dress! - so I'm forced to stay nice and symmetrical the who show, which is why I need a chiropractor.


Brad Oscar (Uncle Fester)

Talk about how you feel tonight, Brooke's officially opening.  The rest of you have been performing for a while in this show.

Tonight was great. It sort of snuck up on all of us. I don't think we realized it was an 'opening' of sorts until all you guys were there and all of a sudden this was Brooke's official opening! So it was fun, because most of us have been doing the show now for a couple of months - the new cast. So it's always exciting when someone new comes in and it all becomes alive again. 

How has it been performing with Brooke?

I have had the pleasure of knowing Brooke casually for years through mutual friends, but I've never been able to work with her. So this is a real kick for me, because I've always admired her and she's the sweetest thing in the world. She knows what this is about. She understands the discipline of doing eight shows a week, and she is committed to it. She is a true pro in that way. We're thrilled to have her, and she looks drop dead gorgeous. We're looking forward to a great run with her!


Rachel Potter (Wednesday)

Tell me what this night means to you, welcoming in such a celebrated performer into the show.

It was really special. It's such a joy and an honor to have Brooke join our cast. She is a pleasure both on and off stage. So it was a lot of fun, and it was great to hear the audience's response to her. Everyone really loved her. And we do too!

Audiences have fallen in love with THE ADDAMS FAMILY from the very first day. This is an audience show. Why do you think that is?

I think that THE ADDAMS FAMILY is something that people of all ages, and from any walk of life, and from anywhere in the world can enjoy because it's fun and it's silly. It allows people to laugh and feel like they saw a Broadway show and saw some great talent, but they also enjoyed themselves. And they get to leave feeling pretty satisfied.


Jackie Hoffman (Grandma)

What was tonight like for you?

What was tonight like for me? Ummmm, well... I'm trying to make it all about me and I almost succeeded!

Brooke said you almost broke her up tonight, right?

Damn! She's a tough nut to crack. Bebe was easier- this one's tough! I've got my work cut out for me.

Talk about working with Brooke now in the show.

She's a total bitch and it's all about her. But, you know, what can I do? She's pretty.

Talk about life in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. You've been with the show from the very beginning!

Yes, I have- from the very beginning, 1964.

Not that far back!

It seems like that far back!


Roger Rees (Gomez)

Tell me what tonight was like for you!

We welcomed Brooke into the company. It's like the last piece. Many of us, about eight of us, are new to this show - I think Jackie [Hoffman], Adam [Riegler], and Zach [James] were in the original thing, but everyone else is new! So now we're all new, so it's great fun. So we set off on our journey together and audiences love this. It is real entertainment. So we're having a good time with it.

What attracted you to want to do this?

The part is Spanish. That's funny to me. It's always funny to play a Spaniard. Shakespeare knew that. But I saw Nathan Lane, and I love Nathan. I just love the part. The part is a very sweet, sad man who wants to be very close to his wife all evening, and eventually he manages it. It's a sweet story.

Now in its second year on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street), THE ADDAMS FAMILY has grossed more than $65 million since its opening in April, 2010.

A national tour of THE ADDAMS FAMILY will begin in September of this year at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts in New Orleans. International productions of the musical have been announced for Sao Paulo, Brazil in spring, 2012 and Sydney, Australia in spring 2013. Several other international productions are in the planning stages.


Richard Ridge: Richard fell in love with the theatre at the age of five when he went through his parents record cabinet and stumbled upon their original cast album collection and the rest is history.He has toured the world as a performer and for the past twenty years he has been the host of the television program Broadway Beat and the soon to launch Backstage with Richard Ridge

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

buy tickets

Related Articles

From This Author BWW