I recently submitted my review of The Addams Family — the new multi-million-dollar, Broadway-bound musical — to EDGE. This being my second visit to the show in the past week (not of my own choosing necessarily, but I certainly wasn’t complaining), I noticed a few cuts and trims: most noticeably, a good third of Bebe Neuwirth’s Kander and Ebb inspired number, “Second Banana,” is now gone. Those that saw the show during previews may recall a giant picture frame saying “Morticia” that the ensemble positioned around Neuwirth as she vamped it up.
Well, that’s no more.
And I think it works better this way. But this is just a small slice of the work that’s ahead for the design/director team of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch to get this show really growling.
Yes, I deeply enjoyed the show in its current state — I’ll share more about that in my review as soon as it’s posted in the next day or so — but a tighter focus is needed on the core Addams clan. While I don’t entirely agree with Chris Jones’ review that the show needs overhauling, with severe cutting of the secondary characters (i.e. the FABULOUS Carolee Carmello and Terrance Mann — Broadway’s original Javert and Rum Tum Tugger, y’all!), I *do* think Nathan Lane and Neuwirth’s roles need more defining. I would suggest that the material currently in place for these two bona fide Broadway stars is reexamined, as none of their scenes really take off. And more importantly, the opening number doesn’t set the tone properly — too much menace and not enough oddball whimsy.
However, a good chunk of the show is right on point, as far as I’m concerned.
More to come…
EDIT (12.13.09): My review on EDGE >>