It began when Charles Addams drew a simple, single-frame offbeat cartoon back in 1933, the first of dozens published in The New Yorker over five decades.
Since then, “The Addams Family” has had more lives than a black cat.
Tuesday, the most recent incarnation, a stage musical based on this creepy clan, arrives at the Orpheum Theater for a weeklong stay.
“The Addams Family” became a 2010 Broadway hit starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth that ran 21 months despite critical pans.
The road tour retains the basic Broadway storyline — daughter Wednesday falls for a “normal” boyfriend — but has undergone extensive changes.
With a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys”) and a score by Andrew Lippa (“The Wild Party”), the tour version ditched three songs, added three new ones, restructured two more and shifted the storyline to focus more on Gomez and Morticia. It retains the Tony-nominated set and some fun stage magic, such as a levitating Uncle Fester as he sings to the moon.
You might remember the Addamses from the 1964-66 television sitcom, starring Carolyn Jones as Morticia and John Astin as Gomez. Or maybe the animated cartoon shows that ran on NBC from 1973-75 and ABC in 1992-93.
Or perhaps your first glimpse of them was in 1991 when the first of two feature films arrived, starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia as the terminally twisted couple.
Whatever their introduction, most people know of the Addamses, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, their butler Lurch, Uncle Fester, Grandmama and Thing, that hand in a box.
This strange, spooky, wealthy family has struck a chord with the public as it faced joys and woes surprisingly similar to those in less sinister homes.
There may be more Addams Family yet to come. In 2010 it was announced that a stop-motion animated film was in the works, based on Charles Addams' original drawings, co-written and possibly directed by Tim Burton.
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