Providence Performing Arts Center
The Addams Family tour has arrived at the Providence Performing Arts Center now through Sunday, March 25th!
The Broadway production of The Addams Family (starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth) ran for almost two years, closing on December 31, 2011 after a successful run. Though the show received mostly negative reviews, only two Tony nominations, and did not even perform at the Tony’s, it was a fan favorite. The touring production has been revamped with new songs and new story-lines... and after seeing the original version on Broadway in 2010 and now the new version, I am confident in stating that the show has been changed for the better.
Let me start by saying that the Broadway production of The Addams Family was not nearly as bad as the reviews portrayed it. If I remember correctly, Ben Brantley of the NYTimes termed it “ghastly”. There were parts of the show that I remember thinking were corny or shallow or a little far-fetched, but it was funny and entertaining overall. With that said, the revised production is far better!
The story-line is more cohesive and easy to follow. The changes to the story-line make for a better plot. For example, Morticia does not know of Wednesday’s engagement in the revised production, which causes tension between her and Gomez. In the original Broadway production, Morticia’s story-line seemed to revolve around her obsession with getting older. One would expect a “juicier” plot and more character development for the female lead of a musical. I’m also very glad they got rid of the pet squid. I was never a fan of the pet squid that kidnaps Mal Beineke. One change I wish they had made was giving Grandma more scenes... or even better, a song. A Grandma song would have a lot of comedic potential.
The highlight of the show was the performance of Douglas Sills as Gomez. He really nailed it with great comedic timing and stage presence. Sara Gettelfinger was good as the dark and dry Morticia. Cortney Wolfson as Wednesday sings two of my favorite songs in the show- “Pulled” and “Crazier Than You”. She had a great voice. Speaking of good voices, Patrick D. Kennedy as Pugsley was also vocally impressive. Blake Hammond as Uncle Fester was charming! The entire cast was solid. The sets and costumes were reminiscent of the comic strip origin of The Addams Family. The score offers many genres of music from pop to Spanish to the traditional showtune. There’s something in it for everyone and it’s definitely appropriate for the school-age child.
The Verdict: Go see The Addams Family at PPAC if you want to see something funny and entertaining for all age groups.