There isn’t anything creepy or spooky about Morticia in Gomez’s eyes.
And Morticia doesn’t see Gomez as kooky. Well, maybe a little. He always loses control when Morticia speaks in another language.
Lorna Culmone Bourgeois directs this show, which opens Thursday, and follows the quirky antics of this family created by cartoonist Charles Addams. And at the heart of the family’s peculiarities is the love story between this oh-so-odd husband and wife.
“He believes that Morticia is the only woman in the world for him,” Blanchard says. “There’s no other woman like her. He’s passionate about everything, and he knows she’s the only woman who can keep him in line.”
“And they demand complete honesty from each other,” says Celeste Angelle Vellion, the production’s Morticia. “And that’s where the trouble begins.”
“The Addams Family” opened on Broadway in 2010, preceded by “The Addams Family” television series, which ran from 1964-66, and “Addams Family” films in 1991, 1993 and 1998.
All were inspired by Charles Addams’ single-panel New Yorker cartoons that debuted in 1938, giving readers a satirical look at the typical American family, which wasn’t so typical. The Addamses were wealthy yet eccentric and loved the macabre, never sensing their behavior was bizarre.
The musical opens in a cemetery, where the Addamses are surrounded by their ancestors.
“The Addamses are the only ones who can see the ancestors,” Blanchard says. “Well, except for the audience, of course.”
The ghostly ancestors stick around for the rest of the story, offering support along the way. And Gomez dearly needs all the support he can muster.
“Our show follows the touring production of ‘The Addams Family,’” Blanchard says. “There were some changes made after the Broadway show closed, and I think the story is better because of it.”
“It’s a lot more comical,” Vellion adds. “We have a hard time not cracking up during rehearsal.”
The biggest change is that Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Cornett, is 18, older than the character in the television series and films. She confides to her dad that she’s in love and plans to get married.
“Gomez promises to keep the secret, but it doesn’t sit well when Morticia finds out,” Vellion says. “She feels like he’s broken a trust, since they’ve always demanded honesty from each other.”
So, does Wednesday get married? No spoilers here from Blanchard and Vellion, but they do say the play won’t suffer for a lack of romance.
Gomez and Morticia will tango — no “Addams” story would be complete without it.
And there will be the usual antics by other Addams family members, particularly Uncle Fester, played by Mark Lambert; Grandma Addams, played by Mary Pittman; and their ever-groaning butler Lurch, played by Will Watson.
And, of course, there’s Emery Gischler as Pugsley Addams.
“Pugsley is still a young boy in this story, and Emery has been amazing,” Vellion says. “We’ve all had so much fun with this show.”
But the story wouldn’t work without a happy marriage and a happy ending.
“I didn’t think this deeply about the Addamses until I started rehearsals for this play,” Vellion says. “This show adds a deeper dimension to them, especially to Morticia and Gomez, who are completely dedicated to each other. It’s definitely a love story.”