Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch direct “The Addams Family,” which opened April 8 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
This new musical comedy — with a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys”), and lyrics by Andrew Lippa — is based on the much-loved characters drawn by cartoonist Charles Addams from 1938 until his death in 1988. The production brings two well-loved thespians back to Broadway as the patriarch and matriarch of the title family with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth starring as Gomez and Morticia Addams.
The plot centers on Wednesday Addams, played by Krysta Rodriguez, who is all grown up and wants to marry. Gomez and Morticia are forced to host a dinner for Wednesday’s hearthrob Lucas Beineke (Wesley Taylor) and his parents, Mal and Alice Beineke (Terrence Mann and Carolee Carmello). What transpires turns the Addams’ household and some of America’s favorite characters upside down.
At the end of last year, “The Addams Family” musical began try-outs in Chicago, where the production was critically panned but drew impressive box office receipts throughout its run. In order to address some of the critical concerns, Jerry Zaks was brought on as a creative consultant as the book underwent revisions.
While legit critics have acknowledge and praised the changes, most have also noted that the production is still far from perfect. However, attendance and ticket sale patterns tell a different tale, as audiences seem much more forgiving of any on-stage flaws of the beloved ghoulish family.
A run of 34 previews began March 8, with an average attendance capacity above 95 percent in the 1,475-seat theater. Regular ticket prices range from $56.50 to $136.50, with premium seating also available for $300. Box office receipts have surpassed the $1 million mark each week since previews began, with gross ticket sales totaling $1,391,177 for the Broadway box office week ending April 4, according to numbers from the Broadway League.
Beginning April 13, performances of this open-ended production are scheduled Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are booked for Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. “The Addams Family” runs two hours and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is located at 205 West 46th Street between Broadway and 8th Ave. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “The Addams Family”
|Variety||Steven Suskin||“…an ill-formed, one-dimensional cartoon with lines and shading not quite inked in.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“A tepid goulash of vaudeville song-and-dance routines, Borscht Belt jokes, stingless sitcom zingers and homey romantic plotlines…”|
|USA Today||Elysa Gardner||“Sadly, neither Lane nor his similarly dependable co-star, Bebe Neuwirth — a dry, stunning Morticia, in a low-cut gown and long black wig — is given much to work with here.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“…one gets the feeling from ‘The Addams Family’ that artistic inspiration pretty much ended with the pitch meeting.”|
|Theatre Mania||David Finkle||“…this new musical adaptation of Charles Addams’ gleefully contrary cartoons hasn’t turned out to be a complete calamity — although it comes perilously close to becoming one at times.”|
|The Wall Street Journal||Terry Teachout||“The plot…is as bland as canned tomato soup…”|