Friday, 14 September 2012

Coming soon: The Addams Family

'Da da da da' <click> <click>, 'da da da da' <click click> ...

Look who's coming to dinner ...

'The Addams Family' musical ran for nearly two years on Broadway, from 2010–2011. With a current tour across North America, and another one proposed, it's pleasing to see Australia beat London to the punch for the next major production. (Surprisingly, there's also a Brazillian production currently running.) The Australian staging — which may incorporate revised elements brought into the show during its American tour — opens in Sydney, March 2013.

It's nice to see another show having its out of town try-out in in NSW. But we all know that the heart of musical theatre in Australia is Melbourne, don't we, people?

'The Addams Family' is another in a line of family-friendly shows that are doing brisk business around the world. Based upon the cartoons of artist Charles Addams, and made famous in the 1960s TV series of the same name, the Addams family has also featured in a series of movies over the last decade. This stage  production, however, features an all-new story, and some additional new characters.

The book is by Oscar-winning Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice of the musical 'Jersey Boys' fame. Music and lyrics are by Broadway wunderkind, Andrew Lippa, who is most well-known for his scores of 'The Wild Party' and 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'. I've not listened to the cast recording of this show in depth, but it does have some lovely tunes. (Memo to self: Catch up backlog of Broadway and West End cast recordings. Yikes.)

The Australian cast of 'The Addams Family' was presented to the media for the first time just last month. This production will be headlined by John Waters and Chloƫ Dallimore; respectively, as the debonair Gomez Addams, and the frostily beautiful Morticia Addams. A legend of Australian television, film and stage, Waters will no doubt lend his gravitas to this production. High-kicking Dallimore is well-known to Melbourne audiences from her turn as the sultry 'Ula' in 'The Producers', and more recently as 'Lily St Regis', one of the villains in 'Annie'.

Melbourne performers Ben Hudson and Teagan Wouters respectively appear as the towering 'Lurch' and the Addams' daughter, 'Wednesday'. Indeed, the plot revolves around Wednesday's love for a 'normal' boy and the ensuing shenanigans and badly-kept secrets, followed by a dinner party involving both families. With echoes of the plot of 'La Cage Aux Folles', this should provide fodder for many hilarious moments.

I'm very much looking forward to see how they manage to animate the disembodied hand character, 'Thing', for this production. 'The Addams Family' musical looks like it will be a hoot; think 'Thriller' meets 'The Birdcage'.

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