Over the Holiday Break, we took the kids to see the new Addams Family Musical. Before going, we searched everywhere online to see if the play was family friendly but we found no information. Granted it was the premiere of the play so there weren’t a lot of reviews out there, but I thought we found find something on whether it was suitable for kids or not. All we saw was a blurb on the general story – Wednesday is 18 and falls in love for the first time with a “normal” boy. The Addams Family invites the boy’s family for dinner and hilarity ensues.
So, we went for it as a family Holiday treat.
On one hand, the price of the tickets sort of excludes children. It is an expensive outing to take the whole family to see any Broadway quality play. However, as I said, we wanted to do something special during Holiday Break, our friends could get us great tickets and we could go together, my husband and I fondly remember the Addams Family from our youth, and our kids have finally reached an age where they won’t get freaked out when the theater gets loud or dark or totally embarrass us by kicking seats, demanding snacks, or pointing things out during the play. (“Look Mom, there’s a guy back there!”)
The play, it turns out, is not really suitable for children. The play focuses a lot on sex and a lot of the humor, especially in the first half, is sexual innuendo. Fortunately, it went over my kids’ heads so they focused on the singing, dancing and especially the slapstick comedy so … they LOVED it! They loved Nathan Lane’s enthusiastic portrayal of Gomez, especially his sword fighting. He was fabulously funny for adults and children. (“Mom, he’s the voice of Timon!”) Bebe Neuwirth fit the part of Morticia perfectly but the real stars of the show for the kids were Uncle Fester and Grandma, played by Kevin Chamberlin and Jackie Hoffman. They loved Uncle Fester falling in love with the moon and the way they were able to fake him flying on stage was truly magical. And, when Grandma asks to be spanked at the dinner table the adults and the kids were laughing their heads off … for different reasons … but who cares. The kids loved the monster under the bed scene and I misted up when Bebe sang the Second Banana song about Mom’s stepping back to let their children shine. The set design was incredible, as well.
Our kids weren’t the only ones in the theater that night so I was glad that we weren’t the only adventurous parents. We did have to “educate” the kids on who the Addams Family was – yet another generational gap. We went to the library and found some old tapes of the Addams Family TV show before we went so they would recognize some of the characters.
Bottomline, even though my kids loved it and we truly had a Chocolate Cake Moment together as a family, I would recommend getting a babysitter and go with some friends. You’ll enjoy the play a lot more if you aren’t cringing and wondering if the kids understood that joke.
Here are some additional.