The ghoulish Addams family is visiting the graveyard for an annual gathering of all family members (living, dead, and undecided) to celebrate what it is to be an Addams ("When You're an Addams"). Uncle Fester stops the Ancestors' return to their graves to enlist their help. He explains that Wednesday, under protest, has invited her new (normal) boyfriend, Lucas Beineke, and his parents, Mal and Alice, to dinner. While torturing Pugsley on a rack, Wednesday admits that love is pulling her in a new direction ("Pulled"). Meanwhile, Morticia and Gomez worry about her changing ways ("Where Did We Go Wrong").
As the Beinekes arrive, Wednesday and Lucas instruct their families to act normal so they can all enjoy a simple dinner ("One Normal Night"). But the moment Lurch ushers the Beinekes into the mansion, tensions begin to mount. Mal wants to tear down the old house, Alice begins to spout happy poems at random, Pugsley, Fester, and Grandma fail at acting normal, and Wednesday, after wearing black for eighteen years, appears in a bright yellow dress. Later, Lucas and Wednesday, away from their families, reveal that the reason they brought their families together is to announce that they are getting married. Gomez and Mal share a drink where Mal is introduced to Bernice, the family's giant pet squid, and Alice admits to Morticia that her marriage to Mal has grown passionless. Morticia then hears Wednesday call her old and worries that she's getting crows feet. She turns down Gomez's request to tango, leaving him alone and unsatisfied ("Morticia"). Meanwhile, Pugsley is worried that Wednesday's lovelife means she won't torture him anymore. He steals a potion from Grandma after she reveals it will bring out someone's dark nature. Pugsley plans to slip it to Wednesday at dinner ("What If?").
At dinner, "The Game" is played, where each person at the table confesses something ("Full Disclosure"). Gomez tells a story about scaring away crows and their feet, but upsets Morticia by accidentally comparing her to a goat, while Uncle Fester admits he's in love with the moon. In a mix-up, Alice drinks Pugsley's potion and in front of everyone declares her marriage to Mal a loveless mess as she reveals her misery and woe ("Waiting"). As Mal, humiliated, attempts to leave with his family, Wednesday announces that she and Lucas are getting married, to which Lucas sheepishly agrees. Chaos engulfs both families, and Uncle Fester, trying to be helpful, instructs the Ancestors to create a sudden, terrible storm, trapping everyone in the mansion for the night ("Full Disclosure" (Part 2)).
During the storm, Wednesday tries to leave, but Lucas wants to stay and work things out with their families, leading the pair to have their first fight. Later, Morticia fears she is no longer relevant to her own family, and reminds herself that death is waiting for her ("Just Around The Corner"). Pugsley asks her if there is a monster under the bed. She tells him there is and he relaxes but cannot bring himself to confess what he did to Alice. Uncle Fester calls for an interlude as he plays his banjo, singing a love song to the Moon ("The Moon and Me").
Walking out in the yard, Wednesday runs into Gomez. He is happy she's found someone to love, yet sad that his daughter is growing up ("Happy/Sad"). Wednesday is left worrying that she and Lucas are too different. Then as a show of trust, Lucas blindfolds Wednesday and lets her shoot an apple off his head with a crossbow ("Crazier Than You"). She succeeds, and the two embrace. In the grotto, Gomez and Fester attempt to get Mal to open up about his feelings, to no avail ("Let's Not Talk About Anything Else But Love"). He's ultimately kidnapped by Bernice and pulled into the sewers. Grandma, hearing the word "love", comes to sing with Gomez and Fester ("Let's Not Talk About Anything Else But Love" (reprise)). Moments after, Alice is led down to the grotto by Lurch where Mal, now back from his swim with Bernice, has learned to appreciate what he has after spending time in the arms of a passionate squid and announces he still loves Alice ("In The Arms"). Gomez now goes up to the rooftop to profess his love for Morticia ("Live Before We Die"). They kiss and begin to tango ("Tango de Amor").
With all the couples reunited, Pugsley admits to slipping the potion to Alice, but is congratulated since it brought everyone together. Uncle Fester, wearing a rocket, tells everyone he's flying off to be with the moon. As the families sing one last ballad, they are all shocked as Lurch sings out loud for the first time, just as a puff of smoke is seen on the moon, signaling Fester has just landed ("Move Toward the Darkness").
The Addams Family Theme - Orchestra
Overture - Orchestra
When You're an Addams - The Addams Family, Ancestors
Pulled - Wednesday, Pugsley
Where Did We Go Wrong - Morticia, Gomez
One Normal Night - Company
Morticia - Gomez, Male Ancestors
What If? - Pugsley
Full Disclosure - Company
Waiting - Alice
Full Disclosure (Part 2) - Company
Entr'acte - Orchestra
Just Around the Corner - Morticia, Ancestors
The Moon and Me - Uncle Fester, Female Ancestors
Happy/Sad - Gomez
Crazier Than You - Lucas, Wednesday
Let's Not Talk About Anything Else But Love - Mal, Gomez, Uncle Fester
Let's Not Talk About Anything... - Grandma, Gomez, Uncle Fester
In The Arms - Mal, Alice, Ancestors
Live Before We Die - Gomez, Morticia
Tango de Amor - Orchestra / Gomez, Morticia, Ancestors
Move Toward The Darkness - Company
In 2007, the producers announced that they had obtained the rights from the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation to create a musical adaptation of The Addams Family for Broadway, and they anticipated an opening during the 2009–2010 season after an out-of-town tryout. This was the first time that Charles Addams' comic creations were licensed to serve as the basis for a stage production. The Addams Foundation reportedly retained control over the show's content and insisted that, instead of drawing the plot from The Addams Family television series or films, the production team devise an original musical based solely on Addams' cartoons.
Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice were engaged to write the book, with Andrew Lippa composing the show's score. Improbable Theatre founders Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott were the original directors and designers, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Crouch said that, when brainstorming ideas for the overall appearance of the show, he and McDermott turned to the character of Uncle Fester for inspiration, asking themselves, "If Fester was going to do a Broadway show, what kind of Broadway show would he do?" The partners described the result as "an off-beat take on 19th Century Gothic."
In addition to the original characters created by Addams, the musical introduces the new roles of Mal, Alice, and Lucas Beineke, who are described as "straight arrow Midwesterners." The ensemble consists of a group of Addams Family ancestors, each from a different time period.
Lippa said he wrote most of the score to match each characters personality. This included giving Gomez a Flamenco-style Spanish score, Wednesday a more contemporary score, and Fester a vaudevillian score. "Let's Not Talk About Anything Else but Love" is "jazzy/swingy/catchy" and "Happy/Sad" is a ballad reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim.
Workshops and readings (2008–2009)
Between August 4 and 8, 2008, workshop and private industry presentations of the show were held in New York City. The cast featured Nathan Lane as Gomez, Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia and Annaleigh Ashford as Wednesday (later replaced by Krysta Rodriguez). A second two-week workshop was held in January 2009, with an industry presentation on January 27, 2009. In addition to the earlier cast, Kevin Chamberlin played the part of Uncle Fester, with Zachary James as Lurch.
Chicago tryout (2009–2010)
The musical had its tryout at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, from November 13, 2009 through January 10, 2010. The cast included many performers involved in the early readings of the show, including Lane as Gomez, Neuwirth as Morticia, Chamberlin as Fester and James as Lurch, as well as Terrence Mann as Mal Beineke, Carolee Carmello as Alice Beineke and Jackie Hoffman as Grandma.
On December 28, 2009, Jerry Zaks was named as creative consultant, to supervise "significant changes."
Some changes were made after the Chicago tryout. The songs "Clandango", "Passionate and True", "At Seven", and "Second Banana" and were replaced with "When You're an Addams, "Where Did We Go Wrong?", "Morticia", and "Just Around the Corner". The songs "One Normal Night", "Full Disclosure, Part 2", "Crazier Than You", "Move Toward the Darkness", and "Tango De Amor" were rewrtten.
In the Chicago script, Morticia sees Gomez teaching Alice how to tango, and she proclaims "All the faces of hell defend me!". Gomez tries to explain that he as giving Alice a lesson, Morticia dosn't believe him and thinks he's cheating on her. The argument leads to a sword fight, Morticia and the Female Ancestors vs. Gomez and the Male Ancestors, Gomez stops the sword fight and holds out his chest giving Moricia his heart: "Passonite and true....even until death." Morticia tries to stab him, but she can't, admitting she sill loves Gomez. The two make up and they tango. In the Broadway production Mal confesses he still loves Alice, then Gomez goes to the roof. He tells Morticia that he will always love her and they perform "Live Before We Die", then they tango.
Original Broadway cast:
Nathan Lane as Gomez Addams
Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia Addams
Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester
Jackie Hoffman as Grandma Addams
Krysta Rodriguez as Wednesday Addams
Adam Riegler as Pugsley Addams
Zachary James as Lurch
Terrence Mann as Mal Beineke
Carolee Carmello as Alice Beineke
Wesley Taylor as Lucas Beineke
In addition to the complete cast, Thing and Cousin Itt have a cameo appearance.