THE ADDAMS FAMILY: AN EVILUTION
THE ADDAMS FAMILY: A NEW MUSICAL opened Friday, the 13th of November 2009 in Chicago for out-of-town tryouts. The show continued in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre through 10 January 2010 when it moved to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City with performances through 31 December 2011. A revised national tour ran through the spring of 2014. Worldwide performances continue with the most recent United Kingdom tour scheduled for an April 2017 opening in Edinburgh. Non-equity performances commenced in 2014 and continue globally under the auspices of Theatrical Rights Worldwide. The Educational Theatre Association announced that the show is the most-produced musical in America’s high schools for both 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
Based on the cartoons and sketches of the characters created by Charles Addams, this marks the first time Addams’ work has served as the basis for a stage production. Elephant Eye Theatrical (EET), the Chicago-headquartered theatrical development and production company formed by Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions in late 2005, were granted the rights to The Addams Family characters in 2006. EET is dedicated to the creation of new book musicals for Broadway. The company’s mission is to find and initiate projects, fund their genesis and ongoing development, and serve as lead producer when projects are fully staged. “It’s both an extraordinary privilege as well as a daunting responsibility being entrusted with Charles Addams’ most beloved creations,” says Elephant Eye producer Stuart Oken, “though I’m confident this outstanding creative team is re-imagining the work for the stage in a way that would have made Charlie proud.”
Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, writers of the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Jersey Boys, are the librettists while Drama Desk Award-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) has written the score. Improbable Theater founders Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) are jointly the directors and designers of the production.
In a prolific career spanning six decades, Charles Addams created several thousand paintings and drawings, many of which were famously published in The New Yorker. But it was his creation of characters that came to be known as The Addams Family that brought Addams his greatest acclaim. With a unique style that combined the ghoulish, macabre and just plain weird with charm, wit and enchantment, Addams’ drawings of Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandma, Lurch and Thing have entertained millions worldwide and served as the inspiration for multiple television series and motion pictures.
Today, the rights to all works produced by Addams are controlled and protected by the Charles & Tee Addams Foundation, founded in 2000 by the late Tee Addams, widow of Charles Addams. The Foundation’s purpose is to interpret and share the artistic achievement of Charles Addams’ life through exhibitions and programs developed from the artist’s work and archives. It operates under the direction of Kevin Miserocchi.
CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
CHARLES ADDAMS Born in Westfield, New Jersey in 1912, Charles Samuel Addams’ prodigal artistic talent led him to become one of America’s best cartoonists. In 1933, at just 21 years of age, 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 drawings have been published so 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. www.charlesaddams.com.
MARSHALL BRICKMAN (Book) with Rick Elice, wrote the book for the 2006 Tony Award-winning best musical Jersey Boys. His film work as author or co-author include Sleeper, Annie Hall (Academy Award), Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery; and as writer/director Simon, Lovesick, The Manhattan Project, Sister Mary Explains it All. His television credits include "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" (head writer); "The Dick Cavett Show," (head writer/co-producer). Mr. Brickman entered show business as a musician, first as a member of the folk group The Tarriers and then, along with John and Michelle Phillips, as one of The New Journeymen, which re-emerged a year later) as The Mamas and the Papas. Brickman’s recording (with Eric Weissberg) of the soundtrack of Deliverance, recorded in 1963, achieved gold status twice and remains a healthy seller around the world 40 years later. Mr. Brickman has published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy and other periodicals.
RICK ELICE (Book) with Marshall Brickman wrote the book for Jersey Boys, which received the 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical. He wrote a popular thriller, Double Double (translated in 16 languages), Leonardo’s Ring (London Fringe, 2003) and Dog and Pony (New York Stage and Film, 2003). From 1982-2000, as creative director at Serino Coyne Inc., he produced ad campaigns for some 300 Broadway shows, from A Chorus Line to The Lion King. Since 2000, he has served as creative consultant for the Walt Disney Studio. BA, Cornell University; MFA, Yale Drama School; Teaching Fellow, Harvard University; charter member, American Repertory Theatre. In 2003, he appeared Off-Broadway in Elaine May’s comedy, Adult Entertainment.
ANDREW LIPPA (Music and Lyrics) is currently penning the music and lyrics for a new musical based on Jules Feiffer’s The Man In The Ceiling (Mr. Feiffer is writing the book) which is being produced by Disney Theatrical. Mr. Lippa wrote the music for the world premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s new play The Farnsworth Invention directed by Des McAnuff and presented by the La Jolla Playhouse. Asphalt Beach (music and lyrics) was premiered at Northwestern University by the American Music Theatre Project in October, 2006. The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics) was given its world premiere in 2000 at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York City. The Wild Party won the Outer Critics Circle Award for best Off-Broadway musical of the season, and Mr. Lippa won the 2000 Drama Desk Award for best music. 2004 saw the premiere of Mr. Lippa’s A Little Princess (book and lyrics by Brian Crawley) at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA. In 1999 Mr. Lippa contributed three new songs to the Broadway version of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (including “My New Philosophy” for Tony-Award Winner Kristin Chenoweth) and created all new arrangements. He wrote the music and co-wrote the book (with Tom Greenwald) for john & jen, which played in New York City in 1995 at The Lamb’s Theater. Mr. Lippa’s recordings include Julia Murney’s new CD I’m Not Waiting (producer, 3 songs), The Wild Party (RCA Victor) which he also produced, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (RCA Victor) which earned him a Grammy Award nomination, and john & jen (Fynsworth Alley) which he associate produced. Jazz phenom Peter Cincotti recorded Mr. Lippa’s Raise The Roof on his CD titled On The Moon (Phil Ramone, producer).
PHELIM McDERMOTT (Direction and Design) has been directing and performing since 1984. He co-founded dereck dereck Productions with Julia Bardsley, and productions include Cupboard Man, as solo performer (Fringe First), Gaudete, as co-director and performer (Time Out Director's Award), and The Vinegar Works, The Glass Hill and The Sweet Shop Owner, all as director. Other directing includes The Ghost Downstairs at Leicester Haymarket; Dr Faustus and Improbable Tales (an entirely improvised two-hour play) at Nottingham Playhouse; The Servant of Two Masters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Government Inspector for West Yorkshire Playhouse; and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the English Shakespeare Company in 1996/97 (TMA Award for Best Touring Production). He co-wrote with Lee Simpson and appeared in Get Off My Foot. He directed Shockheaded Peter in London and at the Little Shubert Theatre, Off Broadway, with Julian Crouch; a junk opera collaboration with The Tiger Lilies for Cultural Industry (Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, TMA Best Director Award and Critics Society Best Designer Award). Productions with Improbable include the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man and Theatre of Blood, a collaboration with The National Theatre. He has just directed Philip Glass' Satyagraha, in collaboration with the English National Opera and the Met.
JULIAN CROUCH (Direction and Design) is a director, designer, writer, maker and teacher whose career has spanned theatre, opera, film and television. Initially a mask and puppet maker, Julian co-designed Charivari for Trickster Theatre Company, a company he toured the world with from 1985 to 1986. In the following years, Julian specialized in site specific design, including seventeen productions for Welfare State International. In 1992 he began a successful creative partnership with Phelim McDermott, for whom he designed Dr. Faustus, Improbable Tales, The Servant of Two Masters and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (which earned him a T.M.A nomination for Best Designer of the Year). They also co-directed and designed The Quest for Don Quixote which received a Best Design Nomination in the London Fringe Awards and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (TMA Best Touring Production Award) for the English Shakespeare Company. Along with Lee Simpson and Nick Sweeting, Phelim and Julian formed their own company, Improbable, in 1996. Their productions of Animo, 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Angela Carter's Cinderella, The Hanging Man (winner Best Design 2003 TMA award), Stars Are Out Tonight with Amici Dance Theatre Company and The Wolves in the Walls (winner Best Show for children and young people 2006 TMA award) have gained far-reaching national and international recognition, winning several major awards. Julian and Phelim's most enduring collaboration to date has been Shockheaded Peter for Cultural Industry (Olivier Awards - Best Entertainment, also nominated for Best Direction and Best Design, TMA Best Director Award, Critics Society Best Designer Award and a South Bank Show Theatre Award Nomination). This production, based on the Struwwelpeter book was seen in the West End and at the Little Shubert Theatre, Off Broadway, during four years of record-breaking international touring. More recently Julian was Designer on the multi award-winning Jerry Springer The Opera (Best Musical - Evening Standard Awards, Olivier Award, Critics Circle), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for the National Theatre, and The Magic Flute for the Welsh National Opera. Julian is currently in receipt of a NESTA fellowship. He has just designed and associate-directed Philip Glass' Opera Satyagraha in collaboration with Improbable, English National Opera and the Met.