Feb 21, 2012

Bah-Da-Da-Dum (snap-snap)

My dream adoptive family came in to town this weekend, so of course I had to see them! Let me tackle the controversial question up front: I'm an Addams man, through and through.

To be honest, I've never watched an entire episode of The Munsters start to finish. The parts I have seen, I enjoy but if I have to choose in a gang war, color me Addams! A couple of guys sitting behind me were talking and trying to figure out who they were going to see on stage before the show started, getting confused between the two families.

From what I've read, the musical is supposed to be more based on the original New Yorker cartoons than the TV show which is something I don't understand. When you say Addams to most people, they will likely think of the show or maybe even the movies. Only the die-hard members of the Family will think of the cartoons. As you'll see, having expectations of the TV show causes a lot of my issues with it. Maybe it was having the tickets for almost a year and the building anticipation but there were only a few moments where it felt like I was truly at home with the Addams Family.

Before I start ranting about my issues, let me say that I did enjoy the show overall and it was a fun time!

Before the curtain opened, the Vic Mizzy music starts up and the audience is clapping in tune. Why they  weren't snapping their fingers, I have no idea! =) The curtain opens and there they are, standing in the graveyard like a living family portrait surrounded by tombstones and stage fog. Maybe the best moment of the show for me!

Click to enlarge
The Plot & Wednesday
The main story revolves around now 18 year old Wednesday being in love with a "normal" boy. I suppose it has to happen at some point. Sure, she still tortures Pugsley on a rack and shoots off her crossbow, but Wednesday being this lovestruck just doesn't feel true to her personality for me. (more movie related than TV)

In the musical, he speaks with a Spanish accent...if Spain were neighboring Transylvania. He is torn/trapped between Wednesday and Morticia and handles it in a way that is more sitcom silly than you'd expect from a smart man like Gomez.

She was good but she didn't quite radiate Morticia. A combo of her cadence when speaking (or lack of) and her makeup job making me think more of Lily Munster. Also, since a subplot has her and Gomez having a spat for half the show, I never felt like they were the couple they should be (TV again. I couldn't see them ever getting into a fight so bad Morticia might leave the house).

Manages to stay a young kid even though Wednesday is now 18. One of the most spot on characters in the show along with

Uncle Fester
Absolutely wonderful and a scene stealer. His dance/performance number with the moon is a riot.

Just about relegated to background scenery. Not once did he get to say "You rang?" (TV yet again)

Grandma, not Grandmama here, is basically turned into a senior pot head/hippie.

Thing/Cousin Itt
Both have cameo appearances in the show and were met with lots of applause.

Throughout the show, there were a few adult jokes here and there. Now, I'm no prude and maybe it's me getting older, but I don't want those kind of jokes in my Addams Family. Granted, they sail right over the younger audience's head but it still didn't sit right with me.

Having read a few other not-so-glowing reviews of the performance makes me feel a little better about not totally loving the show. I think the average person that has a passing knowledge of the Addams Family will enjoy this show more than someone that's a fan of the show.



  1. I think it would be a fun show to see and am on the flip from you as am more of a "Munsters" man.

  2. I can spot the word "Addams" from miles away, so you know I had to shoot straight over here when I saw your headline on Justine's Halloween newspaper! ;) Actually, Justine was telling me that she had seen this show too, but although she thought the sets were great, she didn't enjoy the performance.

    I'm a die-hard Addams Family fan! The Munsters were cute, but in my opinion, not in the same league as my beloved Addams clan. I grew up on both the Charles Addams cartoons (via my father's books) and the reruns of the 1960s TV show. I did enjoy the Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston movies, but nothing beats the '60s series for me. John Astin and Carolyn Jones are my Gomez and Morticia so it's hard to accept anyone else playing those iconic characters anymore.

    Apologies for the long comment. The Addams Family gets me overexcited! Haha.

    1. No need to apologize! Like I said, there are parts where it gets everything right (to me!) but more often than not it's updated for a current day audience that vaguely know who they are.