Friday, April 09, 2010

Bad Review: The New York Times on The Addams Family

It was just a bad idea. Broadway, which is suffering a drought of original productions, has been getting drunk off revivals and re-imaginings of movies and books. So turning the Addams Family franchise -- which debuted in New Yorker cartoons and became more familiar as television show and then became a couple of mildly entertaining movies -- into a musical was a natural shift. Nevermind that the time to capitalize on its familiarity or box office currency has long past.

No, American audiences in both film and theater enjoy recognizing something they've seen before, as New York Times critic Ben Brantley points out: they "snap along" at the borrowed theme song, applaud the characters' first appearance, and give "thunderous entrance applause" to the minor characters of Cousin Itt and Thing. With an audience this easy, it's no wonder the producers didn't try harder.

I have to second Gawker, which chose this gem of a quote from Brantley's review as the most delicious:
"A tepid goulash of vaudeville song-and-dance routines, Borscht Belt jokes, stingless sitcom zingers and homey romantic plotlines that were mossy in the age of 'Father Knows Best,' 'The Addams Family' is most distinctive for its wholesale inability to hold on to a consistent tone or an internal logic."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose the best thing to come out of this was the amazing Charles Addams exhibit at the City of New York Museum...Lot's of great original artwork by Mr. Addams!

I missed the musical; but I heard it was terrible...and I love the Addams Family.


5:27 PM  

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