Thursday October 19th 2017

“The Addams Family”

Chicago was fortunate to be the city where “The Addams Family” began its trip to Broadway, and now after two years on “the great white way”, we have the retooled, much sharper touring company gracing the stage of The Cadillac Palace Theatre as part of Broadway In Chicago’s season. “The Addams Family” is based on the cartoon characters of Charles Addams ( his family of characters) with a clever and witty book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and even cleverer songs by Andrew Lippa. If theater is a diversion and an escape from reality, this piece truly is on target. Using the original direction by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch and the superb choreography by Sergio Trujillo, along with the sets and costumes as in the original, this is a fun filled 2 1/2 hours of hysterical laughter and yet has a story that makes sense to all.

The basic story is about Gomez Addams ( a wonderful portrayal by Douglas Sills, who brings a more real Gomez to the stage) and His wife, Morticia ( a remarkable Sara Gettelfinger) and their almost normal daughter, Wednesday ( pertly played by Cortley Wolfson) who wants to bring her soon to be fiance and his parents to their home to make sure they all get along. After all, The Addams Family is not your “normal” group of family members. What happens on this special night is all that could happen with this strange family of characters, but in the end true love and honesty conquers all!

This production , in my opinion, far outweighs the original one as it has been fine tuned during its run and has become more of an ensemble piece. While I know that “stars” have graced the Broadway stage in the main roles, this company proves that you do not need big names to make the show work, but rather strong talent which this cast is filled with. In addition to Mr. Sills as the Spanish romantic Gomez and Ms Gettelfinger as Morticia, Blake Hammond takes Uncle Fester to new heights ( and I do mean heights), Pippa Pearthree is adorable as Grandma, Patrick Kennedy is cute as a button as Pugsley and Lurch is deftly handled by Tom Corbeil.

The “normal” Beineke family is played by Brian Justin Crum as young Lucas and his parents are played by Martin Vidnovic and Victoria Huston-Elem. It turns out this family from Ohio is not quite as normal as one would think which makes for some great moments. The “ancestors” who come out of their family crypt and stroll around the stage are :Ted Ely,Karla Puno Garcia, Steve Geary,Patrick Oliver Jones,Lizzie Klemperer,Christy Morton,Rebecca Riker,Roland Rusinek,Geo Seery and Samantha Shafer- a splended ensemble!

From the moment we hear the familiar theme from the television show , movies and now the play, we know we are in for a strange, but fun evening of entertainment, with all of its outlandishness and puppetry as well as marvelous dance and song. While the music is not as memorable as many musicals offer, it all fits with the story and to be honest, that is all we should expect from a show that is based on cartoon characters, who are anything but normal. And yet, perhaps they are more normal than the rest of us. This is a show that is family friendly ( I would say 8 and older), but is only here through New Year’s Day, with performances as follows:

Wednesday, the 28th at 2 and 7:30 p.m.,Thursday the 29th at 7:30 p.m.,Friday, the 30th at 7:30 p.m.,Saturday the 31st at 2 and 8 p.m. and New Year’s Day,January 1st, 2012 at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $37 with a top of $95 ( a strong value for theater this powerful) and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, at the kiosk at Water Tower Place,at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 800-775-2000 and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com

The Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 West Randolph Street ( at LaSalle)

To learn more about this tour, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusicaltour.com

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