What's creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and visiting the Orpheum this week? If you guessed The Addams Family, you're altogether ookie and correct. Charles Addams' morbid cartoons, a twisted reflection of the typical American family, have been frequently adapted for film and television. In 2010, The Addams Family musical opened on Broadway. The national tour retains much of the original Broadway plot but with new scenes and songs. Here's what Tony Award nominee Douglas Sills (who plays Gomez) had to say about his involvement in the musical:
Flyer: The Addams Family musical reminds me of La Cage aux Folles, which was just at the Orpheum: A child in love asks his atypical parents to become normal for a night, etc.
Douglas Sills: Yes. But in La Cage the parents know they are different from the surrounding community. Their lives have been constructed to live in a society where they are "other." The Addamses don't have an awareness that they are that different. They're normal. Or, if anything, they're superior with more refined tastes. That's one of the big things about this show: what's normal and who decides.
What attracts us to macabre material again and again?
It goes back to the first time somebody stood up in front of a campfire and created a scary mask and did a skit. We've always had holidays like Halloween where there's a moral reversal for a day. Vice becomes okay. Dark things become good things. Somehow it releases the fear and anxiety that evil, dark inversions have for us, and we can have less fear.
For the complete conversation with Douglas Sills, visit Chris Davis' theater blog, Intermission Impossible, at memphisflyer.com.
"The Addams Family" at the Orpheum April 24th-29th. orpheum-memphis.com