First, a fun fact: The writers behind the musical “The Addams Family,” Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman, are the same guys who scripted the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys.”
It makes a certain kind of sense when you consider that Charles Addams, the creator of the original New Yorker magazine cartoons that introduced the Addams clan, was himself a Jersey boy. He grew up in the town of Westfield, and its environs are said to have inspired the aura of lavish spook and gloom that followed the Addams franchise from 1930s magazine pages to 1960s TV screens to a popular 1991 movie.
Now, the 2010 live-musical adaptation of Addams’ cartoons comes to San Diego as a touring show presented by Broadway/San Diego. The family might still be wildly eccentric and defiantly black-clad, but producer Stuart Oken says the musical takes pains to find “the part of them that lives in each of us. The part that basically (acknowledges) we are all odd in our own way, and yet we have the potential to be loving in our oddness.
“I think that was the important thing, and I think Charles Addams was all about that.”
Some more of what “The Addams Family” has been about through the years — in all its many incarnations:
Men (and women) in black
Notable stars who have played members of the Addams Family:
• Gomez: John Astin (TV), Raul Julia (movie), Nathan Lane/Roger Rees (musical)
• Morticia: Carolyn Jones (TV), Anjelica Huston (movie), Bebe Neuwirth/Brooke Shields (musical)
• Uncle Fester: Jackie Coogan (TV), Christopher Lloyd (movie), Kevin Chamberlin (musical)
• Wednesday: Lisa Loring (TV), Christina Ricci (movie), Krysta Rodriguez (musical)
Who’s who on tour
A look at the some of the actors playing top roles in the production coming to the Civic:
• Gomez: Douglas Sills (Tony-nominated for “The Scarlet Pimpernel” on Broadway).
• Morticia: Sara Gettelfinger (“Seussical the Musical,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”).
• Uncle Fester: Blake Hammond (“Sister Act,” “Elf”).
• Grandma: Pippa Pearthree (“Boeing Boeing,” “The History Boys”).
• Alice Beineke: Crista Moore (Tony-nominated for “Gypsy”).
• Lurch: Tom Corbeil (an opera veteran who’s from the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego)
• Lucas Beineke: Brian Justin Crum (a onetime cast member of Broadway’s “Next to Normal,” and another former local — he graduated from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts).
One weird family tree
A sampling of lesser-known “Addams Family” adaptations and spinoffs:
• “Halloween With the New Addams Family” (1977): A “reunion” TV movie, from a decade when those kinds of things were all the rage.
• “The New Scooby-Doo Movies” (1972): The Addams clan teamed up with the cartoon dog and his posse to solve mysteries. (The biggest mystery: Who dreamed up the concept of putting these two franchises together?)
• “Fester’s Quest” (1989): It wasn’t quite the “Halo” of its day, but this video game had Uncle Fester fighting off an alien invasion.
• The Addams Family movie: No, not that one (the 1991 film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld), but a “reboot” movie from director Tim Burton that was first reported as being in negotiations two years ago. Burton would seem a perfect fit for the project, but there’s been little word about it since.
“The Addams Family”
When: Opens Tuesday. Performances: 7 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown
Tickets: Approx. $26.75-$111.75 (subject to change; check with theater)
Phone: (888) 937-8995
Read James Hebert's full story and more on utsandiego.com