National Tour of The Addams Family has Local Ties

Chris Danner is excited to bring the national tour of The Addams Family to Grand Rapids in May. That's in part because Danner has called Grand Rapids home for many years.

"Grand Rapids is one of my top 10 favorite cities in the country," Danner said. "I can't wait to bring everyone and show off the city."

Danner, who serves as the company manager for the production, is also excited because he says The Addams Family is one of his top three favorite productions and audiences across the country have been enjoying the musical tremendously.

The show features an original storyline written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice -- of Jersey Boys fame -- that centers on the cartoon drawings by Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family. It also includes original music by Andrew Lippa.

Danner said fans of the television series or the 1990s films will likely be introduced to aspects of the ghoulish family they may not have seen before if they are not familiar with the cartoons.

Still, Gomez, Morticia, Fester, Pugsley and Wednesday, will live up to the audiences' expectations for kookiness and morbidity.

"Wednesday falls in love with a ‘normal' boy and she wants to introduce him to the family," Danner said. "Obviously she wants to introduce him, but they're not a normal family, per say. So the storyline is about Wednesday inviting the Beineke family and her boyfriend, Lucas, to dinner where the families can meet for the first time. Chaos happens from then on out."

The main setting for the story is inside the Addams family mansion, which is located in Central Park. There will also be scenes outside of the family's home, in the park, as well as in a cemetery.

The costumes keep with the familiar Addams family attire, but Danner said there are some cool and unique costumes worn by the ancestors who have several musical numbers in the show.

"The ancestors come up from the crypt. They are all in period costumes, from caveman all the way up to Amelia Earhart . . . it really offsets the Addams family and the Beineke family."

Addams created The Addams Family in 1938 and the characters have continued to find an audience decade after decade. Danner thinks one reason is because as off the wall as this family is, people are able to identify the characters with their own family members.

Other Performing Arts Events

"La Boheme "
DeVos Performance Hall
May 4 & 5, 7:30 p.m.
$20-$94 , (616) 451-2741

Travel back in time with the Grand Rapids Opera to Christmas Eve in Paris' Latin Quarter and watch as the painter, the poet, the musician and philosopher struggle to survive the winter. As a romance sparks between two of the original bohemians, they fight to stay together until the tragic ending. "La Boheme" is one of Giacomo Puccini's most known operas, an enticingly emotional tale of love and loss.

Black & White
Peter Martin Wege Theatre 
May 4-6 & 11-13
$40 , (616) 454-4771

The exciting story of Swan Lake's dueling black and white swans has inspired everyone from scholars to Hollywood. The Grand Rapids Ballet presents a contemporary look at the classic tale in their production of Black and White as a close up to their 40th anniversary season. Mario Radacovsky's original choreography explores one of ballet's most famous duals and as one of the most revered ballets of all time, the exciting story will captivate every dance lover.