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Delightfully dark humor, memorable
music and finger snappin' fun

"The Addams Family"
Ford Center for the Performing Arts,
Oriental Theatre
Chicago, IL
Dec. 9, 2009
The Addams Family

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity photos

Inspired by comic strip turned television show and movie of the same name, "The Addams Family" musical follows the delightfully dark troupe of housemates through its latest adventure of confusion, chaos and comedy. Led by an all-star cast of Nathan Lane (Gomez) and Bebe Neuwirth (Morticia), the updated tale begins with an introduction of each slightly deranged but instantly likeable character and the New York castle in which they dwell, complete with a pet squid and a basement chamber full of oddities.

Yet the family's idiosyncratic lifestyle is instantly turned upside down when daughter Wednesday announces she's fallen in love with a guy from Ohio. While that premise would be banal in typical scenarios, the Addams parents turn the experience into a gigantic hoopla, insisting the boyfriend and his parents come over for dinner. Of course, Wednesday doesn't want any part of the evening due to her relatives' peculiarities, and given the conservative nature of Lucas Beineke and his even more straight laced parents, it's a match made in awkwardness heaven.

While the premise is amusing enough on its own, "The Addams Family" truly thrives based on its instantly memorable music. Similar in sardonic tone to the Monty Python-centered "Spamalot" or Mel Brooks' recent "Young Frankenstein," songs like "One Normal Night," "Full Disclosure," and most overtly, the finger-snapping anthem that introduced the television series, feel familiar before getting to even the first chorus.

All the while, the remainder of the show's music and hysterical musings from all characters during the meal inspire a variety of revelations about everyone involved. Those who bear the last name Addams may not ever be assessed as "normal," but they're more than accepted by the Beineke family, who eventually loosen up with free-flowing abandon.

Though this particular performance was the premiere night in Chicago before hitting Broadway for previews on March 4 and an official opening April 8, there really weren't any kinks to work out and the cast was in practically perfect form. Just zany enough to keep audiences wondering what quirky twist is coming around the corner but familiar enough to stay true to the world's most famous household from the dark side, "The Addams Family" is a must see for any fan of the stage and screen.

"The Addams Family" continues through Sunday, January 10 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. For additional details visit or

The Addams Family The Addams Family

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