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'Addams Family' musical ready for the spotlight

November 12, 2009 |  6:41 am

When Culture Monster first heard that producers were planning a stage musical of "The Addams Family," we weren't sure if they could pull off the signature ghoulish aesthetic that Charles Addams immortalized in his cartoons in the New Yorker.

Having just seen Vanity Fair's photos of the cast, we can say that our concerns have been at least partially assuaged. (Exactly why the New Yorker didn't get the exclusive is beyond us. Must be an internal Conde Nast thing.) The fright wigs and cadaverous make-up look spot on, and Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth seem to be taking to their roles of Gomez and Morticia like they were born to them. Which, in our opinion, they were.

Vanity Fair has posted an online video in which the stars talk about their characters as well as their costumes. Neuwirth says that she has been an "Addams Family" fan since she was a girl, while Lane talks about Gomez's romantic nature. He also says that Addams' original illustrations for Gomez -- as opposed to the later incarnations on television and in the movies -- actually resemble "someone like me."

Still, some pressing questions remain. How will the music production depict Thing -- the disembodied hand that serves as the family's servant / mascot / pet? And what about Cousin It -- the hirsute relative who speaks in a high-pitched squeal? These are questions that keep us up at night.

Luckily, fans will only have to wait until Friday, when the musical begins performances at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The production is scheduled to open on Broadway on April 8, in time for Tony Awards consideration.

-- David Ng

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