Thursday, June 26, 2008

Broadway Gets Creepy, Kooky, Altogether Ooky

Word on the street is that there is a new musical of The Addams Family in the works, with Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane being mentioned for Morticia and Gomez - great casting, it must be said. And with Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch on board - they designed the seriously cool Shockheaded Peter, as well as the ENO / Metropolitan Opera's recent production of Philip Glass' Satyagraha - there is some reason to believe it might turn out to be quite clever. No word on book or music, which will be the life or death of the project.

Is this just another case of Broadway's current lack of inspiration, mining old TV shows, book and films for sure-fire material since producers are too risk-averse and tourist-oriented to take a chance on something original? The idea of an Addams Family musical is not, in itself, a bad idea - the characters are so quirky, with a strange romanticism about them, and strong, if peculiar, takes on the world - and then there's the twisted love affair between Gomez and Morticia. (Once again, it's a shame that Raul Julia, with his wild eyes and booming baritone, isn't with us to reprise his Gomez! He is truly missed.) Certainly, the source material - Addams' comic panels, the TV series, the movies - provide a very fertile field of inspiration, and offer a wide variety of gags and situations for the writers to choose from and interpret as they will. I was among those who pooh-poohed the films, and they turned out pretty funny (and Addams Family Values is one of those rare sequels to better the original). So, time will tell, I suppose.

NY Post story here.

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