ABOUT THE MUSICAL

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a magnificently macabre new musical comedy is created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, and Drama Desk Award winner Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party). 

 

The show is based upon The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams in his single-panel gag cartoons, which depict a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre.  In addition to the original characters created by Addams, the musical introduces the new roles of Mal, Alice, and Lucas Beineke, who are described as "straight arrow Midwesterners." The ensemble consists of a group of Addams Family ancestors, each from a different time period.

SYNOPSIS: 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

 

 


 

CASTING: 

Character Breakdowns

FEMALE ROLES

 

Morticia Addams (Female, Mezzo-Soprano)

Morticia is the real 'head' of the Addams family, the matriarch. She is concerned her husband is hiding something, and will use all her wiles and tactics to lure his secret out.  An easy comedic actress with a sexy, dry wit.  She is glamorous; witty... and given to low-keyed rhapsodies about her garden of deadly nightshade, henbane, and dwarf's hair.  Although it may seem that Gomez has the most say in family dealings, Morticia’s influence over him proves that she’s really the one in charge. Elegant and gorgeous, Morticia sees only the good in everyone, and comes off as wiser for doing so. Her cool head and dry sense of humor help temper the flames of lust in Gomez, and bring tangibility to her fear of growing old.

A strong dancer / mover with alto / mezzo soprano vocals. Must be a good dancer, have natural comedic timing, and sing well.

 

 

Wednesday Addams (Female - Soprano/Mezzo-Soprano)

The goth daughter of Gomez and Morticia. Wednesday is a charming girl who has the same dry wit and sensibility of her mother, in an even more minor key.  Wednesday finds love with a "normal" boy (Lucas) and wants to introduce his family to hers.  She is stuck between sticking with the traditions of the Addams family and moving forward with her relationship. Experiences the youthful drama that comes with first love – and will do just about anything to get her way!   Her dry sense of humor is reminiscent of her mother, but sometimes gives way into the manic episodes that show her humanity.

Strong pop belt vocals and a good sense for sarcasm.

 

 

Alice Beineke (Female - Soprano)

Mother of Lucas, devoted to her family so she puts aside her own desires. A typical suburban mom with typical suburban mom problems. Because of a cold relationship with her husband Mal, she has refocused her love on Lucas. She is prone to speaking in rhyme when upset.  While at the Addams Family dinner party, she drinks a potion that causes her to let her hair down and speak her truth.  

Comedic actress with soprano / belt vocals.

 

 

Grandmama (Female)

Grandmama Addams is a kooky elder, a feisty 102-year-old woman.  Fun and quirky, but don’t mess with Grandma.  This disrespectful old hag is the mother of Gomez... she willingly helps with the dishes, cheats at solitaire and is roughly dishonest... foolishly good-natured... fumbling, weak character... is easily fooled.  Grandma acts as the wise, if sometimes wacky, sage of the family. She helps Pugsley through his problems, and has a crass sense of humor. 

This is a great role for a comedic actress with strong character vocals.

 

Pugsley Addams (Male - Tenor)

Wednesday’s little brother, Pugsley is a danger-seeking, charming, funny, boy - who loves being tortured by his sister.  Wednesday’s relationship with Lucas has left Pugsley with separation anxiety. He wants to ensure he won’t lose Wednesday to her new boyfriend so he takes matters into his own hands.  An energetic monster of a boy... and a dedicated troublemaker. 

Strong, high vocals. 

This role could also be played by a boy.

Ancestors (Male & Female - Varying Ages and Vocal Ranges)

All chorus members will be assigned an Addams Family Ancestor "character" and therefore have their own cameo character to play.  Examples of the Ancestor characters are Bride, Groom, Stewardess, Saloon Girl, Flapper, Pilgrim, Conquistador, Caveman, Cavewoman, Soldier, Sailor, etc.

The ensemble has a very important role in The Addams Family. As descendants of the Addams lineage from various eras and locales, the Addams ancestors act as a backup chorus for multiple scenes and numbers. Ensemble members should be talented singers, good character actors, and should be able to move well, as the ensemble will be required to dance in many songs.

MALE ROLES

 

Gomez Addams (Male, Baritone)

The father of the Addams family.  Gomez takes great pride in his family and revels in all it means to be an "Addams."  He struggles with having to keep his daughter's secret from his wife, whom he adores more than death. He is pulled in different directions in order to appease them both. Smart, comedic actor with tenor vocals.  Husband to Morticia, if indeed they are married at all... a crafty schemer, but also a jolly man in his own way... though sometimes misguided... sentimental and often puckish - optimistic, he has full enthusiasm for his dreadful plots... is sometimes seen in a rather formal dressing gown.

Must have great comedic timing and a strong singing voice. Should also be a good dancer. Spanish accent is a plus.

 

Uncle Fester Addams (Male - Tenor/Baritone)

The narrator of the show, Uncle Fester serves as the musical's narrator.  He is larger than life, an energetic, joyous, child-like presence.  A vaudeville style comedian with tenor vocals.  Uncle Fester is incorrigible and except for the good nature of the family and the ignorance of the police, would ordinarily be under lock and key... the eyes are pig-like and deeply embedded... he likes to fish, but usually employs dynamite... he keeps falcons on the roof which he uses for hunting... his one costume, summer and winter is a black great coat with an enormous collar… a total character.

Fester brings the audience through scenes with a vaudevillian type of humor. Must have a great sense of humor and a strong sing- ing voice.

 

Lucas Beineke (Male - Tenor/Baritone)

A hopeful romantic and the son of Mal and Alice Beineke, Lucas is the 'average' young man who has fallen in love with Wednesday Addams and plans to marry her.  The epitome of the love- torn teenager, Lucas experiences the youthful pain and drama of young love and struggles with the differences between his family and the Addams family.  He writes poetry and appears to be a traditionalist, but he harbors an unexpected crazy and dark side, and appreciates the macabre… which is why he gets along so well with the Addamses.

Must be a great pop/rock singer.

 

Mal Beineke (Male - Tenor/Baritone)

Mal is Lucas’ stuffy father and an exasperated husband to his rhyming wife, Alice.  A typical conservative suburban father that’s cynical of life and especially the Addams family. Always looking out for his family.  Has difficulty accepting his reality and pretends to be better than others. At one time he was a follower of The Grateful Dead but has lost that side of himself. 

Male actor with high baritone / tenor vocals.

 

Lurch (Male - Bass)

Lurch is the Addams family butler, extremely tall, and knows all the family secrets.  A man of very few words, Lurch mostly responds in drawn out groans — without becoming a cartoon version of himself.  His movement is always very slow.  

Must be a bass with a good singing voice for a small comic bit at the end.

Pugsley Addams (Male - Tenor)

Wednesday’s little brother, Pugsley is a danger-seeking, charming, funny, boy - who loves being tortured by his sister.  Wednesday’s relationship with Lucas has left Pugsley with separation anxiety. He wants to ensure he won’t lose Wednesday to her new boyfriend so he takes matters into his own hands.  An energetic monster of a boy... and a dedicated troublemaker. 

Strong, high vocals. 

This role could also be played by a girl. 

Ancestors (Male & Female - Varying Ages and Vocal Ranges)

All chorus members will be assigned an Addams Family Ancestor "character" and therefore have their own cameo character to play.  Examples of the Ancestor characters are Bride, Groom, Stewardess, Saloon Girl, Flapper, Pilgrim, Conquistador, Caveman, Cavewoman, Soldier, Sailor, etc.

The ensemble has a very important role in The Addams Family. As descendants of the Addams lineage from various eras and locales, the Addams ancestors act as a backup chorus for multiple scenes and numbers. Ensemble members should be talented singers, good character actors, and should be able to move well, as the ensemble will be required to dance in many songs.

ADDITIONAL INFO

 

Resources

 

We highly recommend that you watch the entire musical.  You may also want to check out the movie version (PG-13) or the television shows, (G), but as the stage production is based on the original cartoon, you'll get the best for feel for by watching the musical.   

 

Please watch this production on Youtube by the Marmion Academy.  It hasn't been cleaned up in terms of language or content, but it is shot well and is easy to follow.  Refer to it in terms of understanding the storyline - however we won't be using any of the blocking or choreo so it is important to concentrate on only learning what the story is about and familiarizing yourself with the characters and songs. 

SHOW HISTORY

 

Inspiration

Charles Addams is most widely known for the creation of The Addams Family, characters that formed the basis of the TV show which first appeared in 1964. Now famous, Morticia, Fester, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandmama, Lurch and Thing existed as various forms and aspects in Addams’ cartoons prior to the sitcom. It was in working with the idea of a television production that Addams coalesced a motley group of unnamed characters into the specific personages he then collectively called The Addams Family. The Addams characters appear in only about 50 Addams original works. The majority of his works are occupied by hundreds of other characters, from Aviators to Zoo Keepers. Addams themes deal as much with modern life as with ancient times and his topics span art, travel, relationships, the workplace, animals and children, to name a few.

 

Ghoulish, macabre demonic, depraved bizarre, eerie, and weird have all been used to describe cartoonish Charles Addams' work and the characters therein. Adorable, sweet, charming, humorous, enchanting, tender and captivating are also adjectives used to describe the same body of work, as well as the man himself, the extraordinary artist Charles Addams. His rare gift was the ability to enjoin such dichotomies in wonderfully crafted cartoons and drawings loved by millions worldwide.

Born in Westfield, New Jersey in 1912, he was just 21 years of age when the New Yorker first published his work. Addams went on to become one of that magazine’s marquee contributors until his death in 1988. His body of work spans almost 60 years of output and is estimated to contain several thousand works. Over 15 books of his drawing have been published do far, appearing in many languages across the globe. Addams works appear in a number of prestigious permanent collections including The New York Public Library, The Museum of the City of New York and The Library of Congress.
 

Production History

 

Numerous film and television adaptations of Addams' cartoons exist, but the musical, which is the first stage show based on the characters, is based upon the cartoons rather than the television and film characters.

After a tryout in Chicago in 2009,  the musical opened on Broadway in April 2010. The original cast featured Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia.  The Broadway production closed on December 31, 2011, after 35 previews and 722 performances.  The production has won numerous awards including the Drama League Award and Drama Desk Award, as well as the Chicago production winning the Jeff Award.

Trivia

  • Lippa said he wrote most of the score to match each character's personality.  This included giving Gomez a Flamenco-style Spanish score, Wednesday a more contemporary score, and Fester a vaudevillian score.  "Let's Not Talk About Anything Else but Love" is "jazzy/swingy/catchy" and "Happy/Sad" is a ballad reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim.

  • The Addamses are a satirical inversion of the ideal twentieth-century American family: an eccentric wealthy aristocratic clan who delight in the macabre and are seemingly unaware, or do not care, that other people find them bizarre or frightening.

  •  In 1964, a live-action television series, starring John Astin and Carolyn Jones, premiered on ABC and subsequently inspired a 1977 television film and cameos from the cast in other shows. Influenced by its growing cult following, an unrelated animated series aired in 1973.

  • The franchise was revived in the 1990s with a feature film series consisting of The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993). 

 

© 2017 by Academy for Children's Theatre
 

CONNECT​ WITH US:​​

PO BOX 57443 

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

HOURS OF OPERATION

Staff is available through text message, phone or email most hours of the day.  

7 DAYS A WEEK

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

CONTACT

(818) 915-8527
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