A New Director for THE ADDAMS FAMILY

A few days ago, Michael Riedel mentioned in his column at The New York Post that the producers of The Addams Family would be bringing in a new director to help shape up the show for its Broadway opening.

Now it’s been confirmed and the man named for the job is Jerry Zaks, who will take over the reins from Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch. Well, not exactly. At this point in time, it appears that McDermott and Crouch will retain their title as co-directors of the show, with Zaks as a creative consultant, in his own words, to “take this original musical to the next level.”

Critics in Chicago gave the show a mixed reception, expressing a hope that things would will come together before the show opens on Broadway. In a statement to The New York Times, while apparently “at pains… to emphasize that the show was not in trouble”, producer Stuart Oken said that:

(The feedback from critics, colleagues and friends) is that perhaps we were taking a little too much for granted assuming that the audience walks in with the relationship with the Addams family fully intact, and we didn’t appropriately reconnect the audience to the family members.

This was, of course, not the only problem identified by critics in reviews of the show, but I guess we’ll see come April 2010 what Zaks has brought to the table and whether he pushes it in the direction of his previous hit productions of Guys and Dolls and Smokey Joe’s Café in the 1990s or his misfires since the dawn of Y2K, Little Shop of Horrors and La Cage Aux Folles.

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