THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Reviews


Chicago Tribune – Chris Jones

"★★★...I still enjoyed director L. Walter Stearns' Mercury Theater production more than any of my previous visits with this family (this was my fourth trip to the spooky mansion inside Central Park). That's partly a matter of the intimacy of the space and the simplicity of Bob Knuth's shoe-box set design - which dials back big-musical expectations (an ensemble of six feels just about right) and connects you more to the cartoon, TV and movie characters that are the reasons most people are buying a ticket. And it's partly a relentless focus on laughs."

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Chicago Sun-Times – Hedy Weiss

Note to Broadway (and not for the first time): If you want to see how to make a musical really snap into place — how to connect with an audience in that uncanny way that is so crucial for success, how to delineate characters so that we cannot help but cheer for them, and how to turn every production number into a giddy explosion of song and dance — pay a visit to the ideally intimate Mercury Theater Chicago.

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Newcity Chicago – Christopher Kidder-Mostrom

"...When a play bombs on Broadway after beginning its life in Chicago, one might not expect a terribly triumphant return to the Windy City for that show. However, the version of “The Addams Family” that is currently being produced at Mercury Theater Chicago has a drastically overhauled script and is, essentially, a new play. And that new script is an absolute delight." 

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Stage & Cinema – Lawrence Bommer

"...As clever as this musical mash-up seems (with shout-outs to Bob Knuth’s wicked props, Brenda Didier’s chilly choreograph, Frances Maggio’s caricaturing costumes, and Nick Belley’s sepulchral lighting), I still think Paul Rudnick’s film versions provide the perfect Addams overkill. But hey, talk to the Thing…I mean, hand; you get song and dance here, the kind that didn’t kill vaudeville. And what an antidote the Addams are to today’s assorted delusional thinking, including the self-esteem movement, feel-good empowerment scams, and unorganized religion." 

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Chicago Critic – Jacob Davis

"...There are things in the book I could complain about, like how most of the second act consists of a nobleman with superpowers lecturing a middle-class father on the importance of putting romance before responsibility. Or how much shock humor revolves around old women’s sex lives (the show is not child friendly). But ultimately, none of that really matters as long as you go to the musical in expectation of goofy fun. The audience I saw was in stitches from the moment Lurch (Jeff Diebold) attempted to speak, and laughed uproariously the whole way through. L. Walter Stearns’s direction delivers every macabre joke in this romantic comedy, and the design team made a visual feast. The score is cheesy, but the performers’ cheeriness is infectious." 

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Chicago Stage Standard – Sandra Bykowski

"...Technically, the show – directed by L. Walter Stearns – was a glorious spectacle. The choreography by Brenda Didier was delightful, and Frances Maggio’s costumes, particularly for the ancestors, were dazzling. The sets by Bob Knuth, complete with a glowing moon floating over the audience, captured the kookiness of the cartoons with a Dr. Seuss-y crookedness." 

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Around The Town Chicago – Al Bresloff

"...My hat is off to L Walter Stearns and his majestic Mercury Theater Chicago! Oh, what a night! The perfect opening night for a musical comedy that was “born” in Chicago with non other that Nathan Lane taking on the “caricature” role of Gomez Addams, the patriarch of this family. While Lane is an extraordinary talent and was brilliant in his portrayal, the entire show appeared to be more a “star vehicle” for him, and thus did not make it as big as it could have. The writers with veteran director Jerry Zaks retooled the production and what we see on the stage of the far more intimate Mercury Theater is an amazing “ensemble” piece! A two hour and thirty minute musical that far exceeds what we witnessed pre-Broadway."

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Chicago Theater Review – Colin Douglas

"...L. Walter Stearns has really risen to the occasion with this show as director. Moving his cast over, around and through the intimate Mercury Theater, he’s wisely kept his production on the modest side, while carefully mining every ounce of comedy, both from the libretto and from within his stellar cast. Mr. Stearns doesn’t waste any of the talent bursting from his 16 triple-threats, yet he’s kept his production profoundly honest, visceral and immediate. In the end, this musical is simply a warm, very funny story of a family coping with change and their oldest child’s growing pains. The only difference is that this family finds most of its happiness when they “Move Toward the Darkness.”"

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Chicagoland Theater Reviews – Dan Zeff

"...Miraculously, the storyline that was so cumbersome during the pre Broadway tryout turns into a joy on the Mercury stage, with dialogue and sight gags filled with wry humor. Laughs come fast and unexpectedly, a bit from "The Sound of Music" in one scene and a line from "The Honeymooners" in another. Uncle Fester even throws in a brief and comical reference to the musical's failure on Broadway. Many of the laughs emerge from in- jokes but the book isn't pretentious or smug about its cleverness."

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Addams Family
Showtimes:

Previews (Jan 28- Feb 4):

  • Wednesdays at 7:30pm
  • Thursdays at 8pm
  • Fridays at 8pm
  • Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm
  • Sundays at 3pm

Feb 6 - Mar 4:

  • Wednesdays at 7:30pm
  • Thursdays at 8pm
  • Fridays at 8pm
  • Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm
  • Sundays at 3pm and 7pm

Mar 5 - Apr 5:

  • Wednesdays at 7:30pm
  • Thursdays at 3pm and 8pm
  • Fridays at 8pm
  • Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm
  • Sundays at 3pm
 

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