REVIEWSREVIEWS BYTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

The Addams Family National Tour

A New MusicalThe Addams Family national tour

Book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice

Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Based on Characters Created by Charles Addams

Directed and Designed by Phelim McDermott & Julian Crouch

Music Direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell

Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo

Produced by Broadway in Chicago

At the Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago

Their still creaky, cooky and funny but now with a trim tight focus

After receiving mixed reviews in its Chicago premiere, The Addams Family returns two years later as a more focused and tightly wound musical sans Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. With several new songs and a trimmed storyline, Andrew Lippa’s music and lyrics work better with Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s tighter book.

The Addams Family national tour

The zany characters are still there. Gomez Addams (Douglas Sills)  eccentrically enthusiastic patriarch. Morticia Addams (the sensuous Sara Gettelfinger ) the family matriarch always dresses in sleek black is pale skinned and is self-adsorbed.

The kids include Pugsley Addams (Patrick D. Kennedy)  as the deliciously diabolical child who love to be tortured by his older sister Wednesday Cortney Wolfson).

The Addams Family national tour

The family also features the hilarious pot-smoking Grandma (Pippa Pearthree breaks us up as the wacky senior);  Uncle Fester and the butler Lurch (Tom Corbeil) with a host of weirdos like It’s and an assortment of animal puppets and plants that complete the Addams’ freakish household. Yes, Cousin It and ‘The Hand’ are still creeping us into hilarity.

Cartoon by charles Addams
By Charles Addams

After a re-worked opening number smartly introduces audiences to the Addams clan, Uncle Fester (Blake Hammond) emerges as the narrator. Fester keeps the jokes and show-stopping numbers rolling with panache.

The Addams Family National Tour

The Addams  Family features a marvelous score and witty/funny lyrics by  Andrew Lippa whose score has everything from vaudeville, to power ballads, to tango/fandango, to patter songs,  to a pop/rock pastiches that deftly tell the story and enrich the characters.  Lippa score is the vehicle that drives this show–it has humor, panache and loads of heart. There are hummable take-home songs here such as the opening “When You’re an Addams” and dance tune “Just Around the Corner.”

We see the Addams parents and the Beinke’s trying to cope with Wednesday and Lucas getting married. The show neatly turns the meaning of “normal family” topsy-turvy as each clan struggles with the marriage of their kids. The dinner party game of “Full Disclosure” hilariously leads to hidden truth as Alice (Victoria Huston-Elem) lands her angst-ridden sexuality in the song “Waiting.”

With delightful comic tunes from the ‘moon-struck’ Fester ( “The Moon and Me”) is a hoot) and his team of white covered ghosts, The Addams Family effectively entertains garnering laughs and toe-tapping songs. The changes, edits and focus made after the premiere in Chicago in 2009 sure has made this musical into a light yet charming wink-wink fun show. The show has more truth with non-star talents playing Gomez and Morticia. Too bad it is only running for a week (through January 1, 2012) – it’s worth seeing.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2011

For more info, see The Addams Family page on

At the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL,, 800-775-2000, tickets $27 – $95, Wed. Dec 28 at 2 & 7:30 pm, Thurs. Dec 29 at 7:30 pm, Fri. Dec 30 at 7;30 pm, Sat. Dec 31 at 2 & 8 pm, Sun. Jan 1 at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 20 minutes with intermission, through January 1, 2012




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