The Addams Family -- Better than Broadway
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
KAREN: We saw the touring production of The Addams Family as the Bushnell in Hartford -- the first thing we will say is -- GET TICKETS NOW.
Although Bob wasn't able to make it into the studio to record this -- he agrees with me totally. This is an excellent production that you will find enjoyable.
This production of The Addams Family is a new and improved show from the one that opened on Broadway two years ago for a variety of reasons. And we can't often say that about touring production.
We saw that production and were not that impressed. We felt it had some good moments but we also felt it had many slow moments.
Part of the reason this production is so much better has to do with the history of the show. The Addams Family was a troubled musical during its pre-Broadway performances. Late in the game a new director, Jerry Zaks, was brought in and he made some changes and improvements. But time ran out on him.
But after the Broadway opening, Zaks, the creative team and the producers continued working on the show; they made improvements to the plot and pacing, added some new songs and replaced others, so what you are seeing in Hartford is a different and better show.
Also in New York, while the cast was excellent, the show became unbalanced -- Nathan Lane who played Gomez, took over, adding his own schtick to the part.
This cast, which is filled with Broadway musical veterans, is better balanced. We liked Douglas Sills, who starred in The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway, as Gomez better than Lane. He kept more in character, seemed more romantic and was delightful. He was joined by Sara Gettelfinger as Morticia -- originally played by Bebe Neuwirth -- who was also terrific.
This is a show that will delight the entire family. If you are old enough to remember the popular TV show, you will catch some references and jokes that will make you laugh; if you are young, you will still find the show great fun.
And yes, they kept the biggest laugh in the show: when grandma tells Pugsley to stop texting and read a book, all the adults in the audience laugh loudly.
So go see The Addams Family, the new and improved version at the Bushnell in Hartford through Sunday, Feb. 26.
This review aired on WNHU-88.7FM and www.wnhu.net