Just in time for the Halloween weekend, The Addams Family musical rolled into Miami’s Arsht Center for a one-week run before moving to West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center, Nov. 8-13 .Based on the New Yorker
Addams’ characters are all there: Gomez (Douglas Sills) and Morticia (Sara Gettelfinger), Uncle Fester (Blake Hammond) and Grandma (Pippa Pearthree), Wednesday (Cortney Wolfson) and Pugsley (Patrick Kennedy), and butler Lurch (Tom Corbeil). Thing, the disembodied hand, and Cousin It also make appearances.
When Wednesday falls in love with a “normal” boy (Brian Justin Crum), all hell breaks loose when his parents arrive from Ohio to meet the family. The plot is the weakest element of the show, as Wednesday and Gomez ponder the right moment to break the news to Morticia and Pugsley laments the “loss” of his sister to another man. We’ve seen this show over and over—it’s Broadway after all—but the story is propelled by a barrage of one-liners that can only be delivered by Addams’ unique characters.
Be warned, if you’re expecting The Addams Family we all grew up with, that’s not quite what you’re going to get. Sills draws his inspiration from the slightly naïve, childlike Gomez created by Astin and Hammond’s Fester is pleasantly kooky, like we all remember from the television reruns.
Gettelfinger, in a revealing dress that’s cut “all the way to Venezuela” and obviously glued on, can’t seem to deliver the sardonic wit we’ve come to expect from Morticia and Wolfson’s Wednesday is just another lovesick girl and not the cold, calculating sociopath we loved. Her Wednesday is more reminiscent of normal cousin “Marilyn” from The Munsters.
Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott’s set designs pay homage to Addams’ cartoons and the show is peppered with clever special effects, most notably the appearance by Cousin It and his dalliance with the dancing curtain tassle. The score is pleasant but few songs are notable, with the exception of “One Normal Night” and “Crazier Than You.”
Judging from the laughter and applause, the Arsht Center audience enjoyed the production despite its shortcomings. As the famous theme goes, “So get a witches’ shawl on, a broomstick you can crawl on, we’re gonna pay a call on the Addams Family.” It’s a visit you’re going to remember.
The Addams Family
Broadway Across America
Through Oct. 30
Arsht Center, Miami
Tickets at ArshtCenter.org
Kravis on Broadway
Kravis Center, West Palm Beach
Tickets at Kravis.com