Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Music and Lyrics: Andrew Lippa
Director: Matthew White
Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys
Whatever has happened to The Addams Family? What kind of world do we live in where bitter and twisted Wednesday Addams has fallen in love with a thoroughly ordinary young man? That’s the premise of Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa’s musical version of Charles Addams macabre comic strip of the 1930s. The rest of the plot follows Wednesday’s efforts to bring the two disparate families together resulting in a disastrous dinner, Gomez and Morticia, unlike their passionate 60’s TV counterparts experiencing a rocky patch in their marriage, visitations from the Addams Family ancestors, oh, and Uncle Fester in love with the moon. But, as mad as it is – it all adds up to a fantastic night’s entertainment of the highest quality.
Played out on a gloriously detailed, jewel-toned set with sumptuous costumes by Diego Pitarch, it benefits from a cast of supremely talented actors, stand out among them, Cameron Blakely as Gomez. Blakely is a knock out, a tornado of energy and passion, his comic timing supreme. Samantha Womack, is chillingly aloof as Morticia, YouTube sensation and best-selling author Carrie Hope Fletcher (Wednesday) is enviably talented, with an amazing set of pipes and hugely talented understudy Scott Paige is on in the role of Uncle Fester for an indisposed Les Dennis. Paige is utterly brilliant in the role, with a fabulous voice and well-honed comedic skills, it’s hard to imagine Dennis surpassing his performance. Strong support comes from the finest-voiced ensemble heard in years. The sound they make together raises the roof.
The book has been revised since its 2010 Broadway incarnation and the story remains slim, the characterisations broad, but the glorious decoration, some catchy tunes, the non-stop laughs and a master stroke of casting in every role, all add up to make an utterly irresistible night at the theatre.
Runs until 14 October 2017 | Image: Matt Martin