Wednesday, December 28, 2011

THE ADDAMS FAMILY at the Cadillac Palace Theatre

They're creepy and they're kooky...well sort of. In today’s world of odd families such as the Kardashians and the Osbournes one can't help but look at the Addams as almost any typical normal family out today and in the national tour that returns to Chicago after debuting here in 2010 it brings a feeling of closeness that was missing in the original production.

In the current version of the show Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness played with comedic gloom by Cortney Wolfson is all grown up now and in love with a sweet, smart young man from a sadly respectable family played by Brian Justin Crum.

And if that wasn't bad enough Wednesday is feeling the growing pains that every child does and is losing the closeness she feels towards her mother Morticia played by Sara Gettelfinger who does everything she can trapped in a role that was created for Bebe Neuwirth. Now Gomez Adams must do something he's never done before – keep a secret from his his beloved wife. Everything happens to change though for the whole family on the fateful night that they host a dinner party for Wednesdy's “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

In the original production Nathane Lane who played Gomez made the role more about Nathane Lane playing Gomez and in the toru you get the impression that Douglas Sills has greated an original take on Gomez and supplied him with an exciting almost operatic voice that makes songs like “Trapped” and “Not Today” come alive and sound exciting. As mentioned above one feels for Ms. Gettlefinger a gorgeous statuesque actress who's saddled with a role that has a limited singing range and limited dancing due to the originator but makes the most of what she has in every way. Martin Vidnovic and Crista Moore as the boyfriens parents finally free of the squid storyline that plagued the original production are good though less steller then Terrence Mann and Caroleee Carmello who originated the roles. Blake Hammond as Uncle Fester gets the crowd pleasing and delightful “The Moon and Me” and is able to make it work by his voice and sweet disposition. As Grandma Pippa Pearthtree lacks any of the comedic force that original Jackie Hoffman had and it is notably absent.

It's interesting that after seeing the national touring production of La Cage aux Folles the week before the similarities within the script between shows an how each of them tackle the sitcom stylings of family disapproving of child's love and how everything’s overcome by a song and dance.

The show still feels like it needs a better storyline then they have given it and if the songs could be a little more original and distinct then they are it's surprising how well the actual show holds up with audiences. In today's age where we are presented with so many crazy television families that seems like they love the audiences more they love each other it's nice to spend some time with a healthy typical American family like The Addams.

THE ADAMS FAMILY is playing at the Cadillac Theatre through January 1st and for more information on tickets, visit

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