'The Addams Family' musical coming to Paramount
By Janelle Faignant
“I don’t have a sweet disposition. I’m not known for being too amused,” Wednesday Addams sings in “Pulled,” a song from the National Broadway Tour of “The Addams Family, A New Musical,” playing at the Paramount Theatre at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3.
The lyrics of the song capture the character of Wednesday perfectly in “The Addams Family” Broadway show, which began performances in March 2010 and became an immediate success.
“The Addams Family” was originally created by cartoonist Charles Addams, who produced thousands of cartoons, drawings and comic strips, many of which appeared in The New Yorker. His creation of comic strip characters that came to be known as The Addams Family introduced a unique style that combined the macabre with charm and wit, inspiring multiple television series and films, and a Broadway show.
Directed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks, the new musical features the same creepy, kooky family we know and love but with an original story centering on daughter Wednesday and takes place a few years down the road.
Known as the ultimate princess of darkness, Wednesday is grown up and has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a good family — an Addams Family nightmare. Her parents finally meet him when they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
The role of Wednesday was made famous by Christina Ricci in the 1991 film. Her trademark gothic looks, straightforward, deadpan character and bug-eyed angry glower can also be seen in actress Jennifer Fogarty, whose performances in the musical have been garnering praise across the country.
Michael Jansen Miller of the Lexington Opera House said, “Of particular note is Jennifer Fogarty’s outstanding turn as Wednesday Addams. (She) has the pipes of Idina Menzel and the comic timing of Kristen Chenoweth ... Even if this show that gloriously surrounds her weren’t so amazing, her performance alone would be worth the price of admission.”
“I had always been familiar with ‘The Addams Family’ movies,” Fogarty said about her preparation for the role. “However, I really didn’t know much about Wednesday that was beyond Christina Ricci. I had never seen the Broadway musical or the television series, so I had to do my research.”
“As months go by on tour, I still find myself discovering new quirks about Wednesday and how to bring her to life on stage,” Fogarty said.
In the musical Wednesday grows up to be a confident young woman, comfortable in her own skin. Fogarty says she’s a great role model for girls who maybe see themselves as “different.”
“It is absolutely, slightly, terrifying to bring such an iconic role to life,” Fogarty said. “There is always that little fear in the back of your mind that you might disappoint someone. However, the excitement of it all always takes over before the curtain opens.”
Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune described the show as “classic, full-tilt, fast paced, old-fashioned musical comedy,” and John Simon of Bloomberg News called it “a glitzy-gloomy musical entirely worthy of the macabre drawings by Charles Addams.”