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David Lissner
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13 top one-liners from ‘The Addams Family’ musical

Don’t go to ‘The Addams Family’ musical expecting ‘Christmas with The Addams Family.’

I imagine the conversation:

Producer: So we’re doin’ a new musical based on “The Addams Family.” (Snaps fingers.) What a snappy theme song.

Creative team:
Uh, well, we’re basing it on the original Chas. Addams cartoons, not the TV show.

Producer: But we’re gonna use the TV theme song, right?

Creative team: Uh, well, we’re doing our own version of the Addamses, so it doesn’t exactly fit….

Producer: You gotta put in the theme song.

Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane as Morticia and Gomez Addams. (Photo by Joan Marcus.)

Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane as Morticia and Gomez Addams. (Photo by Joan Marcus.)

So in the middle of Act I, we get a few tantalizing bars of that memorably bouncy theme with a brief tableau of the Addamses posed around Morticia in her fan chair. That’s it. Snap!

Those who are headed to the world premiere of “The Addams Family” musical at the Oriental Theatre with the idea that they’re going to see an extension of the 1960s TV show or the 1990s movies are likely to be disappointed. My opinion of the show coincides so closely with Chris Jones’ review that I’m not even going to bother to write mine down.

I’m guessing that this pre-Broadway tryout will get considerable rewriting before it heads to the Great White Way, and they couldn’t do better than to follow Jones’ suggestions. There’s plenty of good stuff in this show, but somebody needs to cut it out from all the clutter.

Toward that end, here are some of the most memorable lines:

  1. “Normal is hard to achieve.”
  2. “Bright colors are for people who have no inner life and no imagination.”
  3. “How do you get your husband to fondle you in front of the guests?”
  4. “The great cycle of life … and death … and dried fruit.”
  5. “I can be impulsive. I just need to think about it.”
  6. “Can this be repaired, or do you all leave here feeling vaguely depressed?”
  7. “I was the banquet. Now I’m the brunch.”
  8. “We were older when we were younger.”
  9. “You want to act like a tool? Go sleep in the shed.”
  10. “We don’t deal with hypotheticals around here. Only harsh realities.”
  11. “In matters of love, distance is our friend.”
  12. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you move like a printing press.”
  13. “It just goes to show what squid loving will do.”
Broadway in Chicago’s ‘The Addams Family’

Theater: Oriental Theatre in the Loop.

Showtimes:7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, through Jan. 10.

Tickets: $28–$105.

Dining: The creative seafood house Catch 35, a couple of blocks north of the theater, seems a good match for this show. Order something with tentacles. You’ll see.

Deals: For after-theater dining, you can’t do better than the $19.95 “7 after 7” three-course menu at Petterino’s, steps away from the theater. Diners can also leave their cars with the restaurant’s valet while at the theater.