Broadway in Chicago to Present World Premiere of THE ADDAMS FAMILY

By: Oct. 30, 2008
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Broadway In Chicago will host the world premiere of The Addams Family, a new musical based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, beginning performances Friday, November 13, 2009 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph St., Chicago). Produced by Elephant Eye Theatrical (Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions) and Roy Furman, The Addams Family will play a limited engagement in Chicago through January 10, 2010 prior to opening on Broadway in the spring of that year. Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth participated in a closed reading of the musical this past August in New York, but no official casting has been announced. It is expected in the coming months. 

The Addams Family will feature a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (librettists of the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Jersey Boys), music and lyrics by Drama Desk Award-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), direction and design by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter, the Metropolitan Opera’s recent acclaimed production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha), choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), lighting by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (The Coast of Utopia, Aida) and musical direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company). 

In a prolific career spanning six decades, Charles Addams created several thousand cartoons, sketches and drawings, many of which were famously published in The New Yorker. But it was his creation of characters that came to be known as The Addams Family that brought Addams his greatest acclaim. With a unique style that combined the twisted, macabre and just plain weird with charm, wit and enchantment, Addams’ drawings of Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandmama, Lurch and Thing have entertained millions worldwide and served as the inspiration for multiple television series and motion pictures. 

“It’s an extraordinary privilege as well as a daunting responsibility being entrusted with Charles Addams’ most beloved creations, but I’m confident this outstanding creative team is re-imagining the work in a way that would have made Charlie proud,” said producer Stuart Oken of Elephant Eye Theatrical.

Tickets are now available to groups of 20 or more by calling (312) 977-1710. The Addams Family will be a part of the Broadway In Chicago Season Series.  Season subscription packages will go on sale to new subscribers beginning November 21, 2008. The individual ticket pricing and on-sale date will be announced at a later date.

For more information on The Addams Family visit

Charles Addams (Creator/Cartoonist). Born in Westfield, New Jersey in 1912, Charles Samuel Addams’ prodigal artistic talent led him to become one of America’s most loved cartoonists. In 1933, at just 21 years of age, The New Yorker first published his work. Addams went on to become one of that magazine’s marquee contributors until his death in 1988. His body of work spans almost 60 years of output and is estimated to contain several thousand works. Over 15 books of his drawings have been published so far, appearing in many languages across the globe. Addams’ works appear in a number of prestigious Permanent Collections including The New York Public Library, The Museum of the City of New York and The Library of Congress.

Marshall Brickman (Book) co-wrote Jersey Boys (2006 Tony Award, Best Musical) with Rick Elice, directed by Des McAnuff, just celebrating its first anniversary in Chicago. Also with Elice, Turn of the Century, directed by Tommy Tune, at the Goodman Theatre. His film work as author or co-author include Annie Hall (Academy Award), Sleeper, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery; and as writer/director Simon, Lovesick, The Manhattan Project, Sister Mary Explains it All. His television credits include "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" (head writer); "The Dick Cavett Show" (head writer/co-producer). Mr. Brickman entered show business as a musician, first as a member of the folk group The Tarriers and then, along with John and Michelle Phillips, as one of The New Journeymen, which re-emerged a year later as The Mamas and the Papas. Brickman’s recording (with Eric Weissberg) of the soundtrack of Deliverance, recorded in 1963, achieved gold status twice and remains a healthy seller around the world 40 years later. Mr. Brickman has been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy and other periodicals.

Rick Elice (Book) co-wrote Jersey Boys (2006 Tony Award, Best Musical) with Marshall Brickman, directed by Des McAnuff, just celebrating its first anniversary in Chicago. Also with Marshall Brickman, Turn of the Century, directed by Tommy Tune, at the Goodman Theatre. His play, Peter and the Starcatchers, based on the popular novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, will premiere in February at La Jolla Playhouse, directed by Roger Rees. From 1982-2000, as creative director at Serino Coyne Inc., he produced ad campaigns for some 300 Broadway shows, from A Chorus Line to The Lion King. Since 2000, he has served as creative consultant for The Walt Disney Studio. In 2003, he appeared Off-Broadway in Elaine May's comedy, Adult Entertainment, directed by Stanley Donen. BA, Cornell University; MFA, Yale Drama School; Teaching Fellow, Harvard University; charter member, American Repertory Theatre; Trustee, The Actors' Fund.

Andrew Lippa (Music and Lyrics) wrote the book, music and lyrics for the Manhattan Theatre Club production of The Wild Party, for which he received a Drama Desk Award. He recently composed the music for the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention. On Broadway he was also represented by the revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, for which he wrote three new songs.  His musicals also include Asphalt Beach (music and lyrics) at Northwestern University by the American Music Theatre Project in October 2006 and john & jen off-Broadway at the Lamb’s Theatre. Mr. Lippa’s recordings include Julia Murney’s new CD  I’m Not Waiting (producer, 3 songs), The Wild Party (RCA Victor) which he also produced, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (RCA Victor) which earned him a Grammy Award nomination, and john & jen (Fynsworth Alley) which he associate produced.  As Kristen Chenoweth’s music director he has conducted The Chicago, San Francisco and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras, led concerts at Carnegie Hall and The Metropolitan Opera House, among many others. He is currently writing the music and lyrics for a new musical based on Jules Feiffer’s The Man In The Ceiling (Mr. Feiffer is writing the book) which is being produced by Disney Theatrical for Broadway.

Phelim McDermott (Direction and Design). With Julian Crouch, he recently directed and designed the acclaimed production of Philip Glass's Satyagraha, in collaboration with the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. As co-founder of London’s Improbable Theatre, he also collaborated with Crouch on the award-winning international sensation Shockheaded Peter, which played London’s West End, the Little Shubert Off-Broadway and around the world. Other productions with Improbable include the multi- award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man and Theatre of Blood, a collaboration with The National Theatre. Other directing includes Gaudete (Time Out Director’s Award), The Vinegar Works, The Glass Hill, The Sweet Shop Owner, The Ghost Downstairs at Leicester Haymarket; Dr Faustus and Improbable Tales (an entirely improvised two-hour play) at Nottingham Playhouse; The Servant of Two Masters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Government Inspector for West Yorkshire Playhouse and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the English Shakespeare Company in 1996/97.

Julian Crouch (Direction and Design) With Phelim McDermott, he recently directed and designed the acclaimed production of Philip Glass's Satyagraha, in collaboration with the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. As co-founder of London’s Improbable Theatre, he also collaborated with McDermott on the award-winning international sensation Shockheaded Peter, which played London’s West End, the Little Shubert Off-Broadway and around the world. Other productions for Improbable include Animo, 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Angela Carter's Cinderella, The Hanging Man, Stars Are Out Tonight with Amici Dance Theatre Company and The Wolves in the Walls. For Phelim McDermott, Crouch also designed Dr. Faustus, Improbable Tales, The Servant of Two Masters and The Hunchback of Notre Dame and co-directed and designed The Quest for Don Quixote and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the English Shakespeare Company. He also designed the multi award-winning Jerry Springer – The Opera (Best Musical - Evening Standard Awards, Olivier Award, Critics Circle), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for The National Theatre and The Magic Flute for the Welsh National Opera. His most recent scenic design is for John Adams’ Dr. Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera. 

Sergio Trujillo (Choreography). Broadway: the Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), All Shook Up. NYC credits: Saved (Playwrights Horizons), Next to Normal(Second Stage), The Public's Romeo and Juliet (Delacorte Theater), Kismet and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Encores!), The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bare, Salome (NYC Opera). International credits: Disney’s Tarzan (Europe); Peggy Sue Got Married (London); West Side Story, The Sound of Music (Stratford Festival). Additional theatre: The Mambo Kings, The Wiz, Zhivago (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Le Nozze di Figaro (L.A. Opera), Hoy Come Ayer (Ballet Hispanico), Chita Rivera's Chita and All That Jazz. TV: "Broadway: The American Musical," "The 14th American Comedy Awards" starring Nathan Lane. Recipient, 2003 Ovation Award in L.A., three Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for choreography in Canada, Stiching Musical Award in Europe. He most recently choreographed Memphis for the LaJolla Playhouse and will choreograph the upcoming Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls

Natasha Katz (Lighting Design) is currently represented on Broadway by The Little Mermaid for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Recent Broadway: The Coast of Utopia (Tony Award 2007), A Chorus Line, Tarzan (Tony Award nomination), Aida (Tony Award), Beauty and the Beast, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sweet Smell of Success, Twelfth Night, Flower Drum Song, Dance of Death, The Capeman, Barrymore. National Theatre, London: Buried Child. Opera/dance: Cyrano (Metropolitan Opera), Die Soldatan (NYC Opera), Carnival of the Animals (NYC Ballet), Tryst (Royal Ballet) and Don Quixote (ABT). Concert acts: Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret, Tommy Tune. Permanent lighting installations: Niketown NYC and London, the Big Bang (Museum of Natural History in NYC).
MARY-MITCHELL CAMPBELL (Musical Direction) is currently the Music Director of Road Show at The Public Theater. New York credits include Company (Drama Desk Award for Best Orchestrations), Sweeney Todd, Next to Normal, First Lady Suite, and Sweet Charity at Lincoln Center. Regional: Little House on the Prairie, 3hree, Embarrassments. International: Grace, the Musical (with Cy Coleman in Amsterdam); Green Violin (St. Petersburg). Mary-Mitchell is the founder of Artists Striving To End Poverty (ASTEP- and is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts and Furman University. 

Elephant Eye Theatrical (Producer) is a Broadway development and Production Company operating under the direction of producers Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions. The Addams Family is the company’s first project. EET will also produce the new musical Bruce Lee: Journey to the West on Broadway, in the 2010-11 season, with a book by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang (M Butterfly, Aida), music and lyrics by two-time Tony Award nominee David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and direction by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific). 

Roy Furman (Producer) is currently represented on Broadway by Gypsy, Spamalot (Tony Award), All My Sons and this spring will co-produce a revival of West Side Story. Other recent productions include Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, The Seafarer, The History Boys (Tony Award), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Pillowman and The Odd Couple. Mr. Furman co-founded the investment firm Furman Selz and is currently vice chairman of Jefferies & Company. He is vice chairman of Lincoln Center, chairman emeritus of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and vice president of the New York City Opera.

Stuart Oken (Producer) is a producer for Elephant Eye Theatrical. He spent 9 years at Disney Theatrical where, as Executive Vice-President and co-head of the division, he was responsible for developing and producing The Lion King (6 Tony Awards including Best Musical), Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (4 Tony Awards) and Der Glockner Von Notre Dame (a German language world premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Berlin.) Most recently, he founded and served as Artistic Director of The American Music Theater Project at Northwestern University. Mr. Oken began his career in Chicago as Managing Director of the Organic Theater Company before co-founding the Apollo Theater Center where he produced works including Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Gemini, Hold Me and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company productions of True West and Balm in Gilead. Mr. Oken produced the feature films About Last Night, Impromptu and Queens Logic. 

Michael Leavitt (Producer) is a producer for Elephant Eye Theatrical. A multi-Tony Award winning producer, his productions include Thoroughly Modern Millie (6 Tony Awards including Best Musical,) One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Tony Award – Best Revival); Death of a Salesman (4 Tony Awards - Best Revival) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Winner of Best Musical-Outer Critics Circle Award); Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Winner: Best Play- Outer Critics Circle Award); and Edward Albee's Three Tall Women (Winner- Pulitzer Prize.)  Mr. Leavitt began his career in Chicago where he produced numerous productions, initially through the Payne Leavitt Group, then as President of Fox Theatrical. In addition to producing theater, Mr. Leavitt has also operated numerous venues, including overseeing the $25 million redevelopment of the 1926 Palace Theatre (now the Cadillac Place) which was subsequently sold to Broadway In Chicago.

Five Cent Productions (Producer) is a producing partner in Elephant Eye Theatrical. Five Cent is a consortium of five nationally renowned performing arts centers that have joined forces to take a proactive role in the development of new theatrical material. The five performing arts centers of Five Cent are: The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts of Hartford, CT; The Citi Performing Arts Center (formerly the Wang Center) of Boston, MA; The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts of St. Paul, MN; The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts of Philadelphia, PA; and The Pittsburgh CLO and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (shared) of Pittsburgh, PA.


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