Sunday, May 19, 2024

Addams Family Could Bring TV Land to Broadway


“The Addams Family” got some of the worst reviews ever seen for a new Broadway musical when it opened two weeks ago.

Guess what? It doesn’t matter.

The Nathan Lane-Bebe Neuwirth extravaganza topped “Wicked” last week and landed at number 1 with the highest capacity sell through of any show on the Great White Way. For the week of April 18-25, it was at 100.7%.

In real box office numbers, “Addams” took in $1.4 million and finished third after “Wicked” and “The Lion King,” and ahead of “Jersey Boys.” Mind you, it was hot on the paws of “The Lion King.”

All this for a reviled show, even by its producers and insiders. Privately, they all acknowledge the show’s flaws. But who cares? From the minute the audience starts snapping its fingers to the late Vic Mizzy‘s theme music, the show is a hit. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the songs are terrible and that the plot is simply recycled from a half dozen other movies and plays. “The Addams Family” offers a live re-creation of beloved TV characters. Nostalgia kicks in. And so does Nathan Lane.

What I’m hearing now is that a bunch of other TV shows are being considered for Broadway treatment. My guess would be “Green Acres,” which also had a famous Vic Mizzy theme song with which the audience can sing along. But there’s been talk of “The Munsters.” (Imagine Jim Carrey has Herman, Reese Witherspoon as Marilyn.) Why not “The Beverly Hillbillies”? Or “I Dream of Jeannie”? First it was Disney on Broadway. Now it’ll be TV Land on the Rialto.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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