Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for May 2010
BY Brandon Voss
May 04 2010 2:00 PM ET
If you forget the ’60s TV show, focus on the original Charles Addams cartoons, and ignore the fact that these characters do not belong in a musical spectacle at all, you may find The Addams Family at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to be creepy, kooky, but not altogether ooky. When Wednesday, who’s older than you recall, falls in love with a boy from a regular middle-class family, she begs her oddball family to “act normal” when they meet their future in-laws — much like La Cage as set in Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Bebe Neuwirth’s Morticia and Jackie Hoffman’s Grandma predictably steal the hokey show, but there’s a scary amount of gay talent on display, including composer Andrew Lippa, Nathan Lane as Gomez, Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester, recent Out model Wesley Taylor as Wednesday’s beau, and Zach James as Lurch.
For his 80th year, musical theater giant composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim gets the gift of Sondheim on Sondheim, an anthological multimedia tribute conceived and directed by frequent collaborator James Lapine. It blunders by trying to progress thematically instead of chronologically, so this best-of show, which runs through June 27 at Studio 54, only works when archival footage or a taped interview with Steve introduces a song with an insidery anecdote. After touching on his homosexual awakening, we’re treated to “The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened,” his same-sex duet from Road Show, and a reimagining of “Happiness” from Passion as a bisexual paean to fickle hearts that pairs stars Vanessa Williams and Barbara Cook! The solid cast of eight also includes gay Taboo star Euan Morton, who’s destined to be in a revival of Merrily We Roll Along.