In addition to their debut on Broadway, the "Addams Family" is also the subject of a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. NY1 Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
They're at a museum. You really gotta see 'em. They really are a scream. The Addams’ Family.
The kooky and spooky Addams Family is at the Museum of the City of New York.
You can see the original cartoon drawings by Charles Addams that inspired the television show and now Broadway musical.
“Well, the characters who became known as the Addams family, originated in individual cartoons that Addams drew from 1938 on,” says Museum of the City of New York Chief Curator Sarah Henry. “It started just as a trickle, and they weren't originally conceived of as a family. The first cartoon just showed a young witch. None of them had names until the television program, and her man servant, confronting a visiting vacuum cleaner salesman, and gradually he began to add characters.”
Eventually Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday Pugsley, Lurch, Uncle Fester, Cousin Itt and the rest of the extended family got names for the 1960's TV show.
The exhibit chronicles the life of creator Charles Addams who grew up in New Jersey and later went to art school in Manhattan. At age 20, Addams began drawing for the New Yorker Magazine and continued to draw for the magazine until his death in 1988.Creators of the new Broadway musical at the Lunt Fontaine Theater say they looked to the original drawings for inspiration.
“Well I think what makes them funny is that you go to the edge of darkness,” says composer Andrew Lippa. “They don't shoot anybody, they don't stab anybody, they don't actually do anything malevolent; they are actually really nice people, it's just that they just like their way of life. They allow themselves to be socially unacceptable.”
Andrew Lippa wrote the music and lyrics for the “Addams Family Musical.” He says the creative team used the archives to better understand the family.
“So that was really exciting to find out what they would sing about, what their tone was, what the lyrics would be about and how again to make them funny without being mean,” he says.
With a new musical, exhibit, and renewed interest in the cartoons and TV show, it seems the Addams Family are the "Itt" family once again.
Charles Addams’s New York
March 4 - June 8
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10029