They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together ooky...and they're coming to Toronto! The Addams Family opens Wednesday night at The Toronto Centre for the Arts, giving Toronto audiences the chance to see a new and revamped version of the show currently running on Broadway.
The musical version of The Addams Family is based more on the classic Charles Addams cartoons then the television series everyone has come to know, so audiences should be prepared to learn a bit more about the kooky clan as their characters become more fleshed out and explored in this new production.
BWW had the chance to speak with Brian Crum who plays Lucas, the love interest of Wednesday. Brian was most recently seen on Broadway in the cast of the Tony Award winning Next to Normal, and talks with us about the changes that have been made to the production, fleshing out the characters and his fundraising efforts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS:
Congratulations on Addams Family! Thanks for speaking with us on your day off in sunny West Palm Beach, it's a hard live on tour isn't it?
Oh yeah, West Palm Beach has been great! I'm staying with a friend here so it's been wonderful getting a bit of a break from hotel life and being in an actual home. I've got my dog with me on tour so this way he's been able to run around and enjoy a backyard, and the weather has been fabulous. It's going to be hard venturing to chilly Toronto next!
Definitely some cruel scheduling happening there! We are thrilled to have you coming back to Toronto, when was the last time you performed here?
It's been at least three years or so and I came through with the touring production of Wicked at The Canon Theatre. Definitely excited to be coming back and performing at The Toronto Centre for the Arts. I hear it's a bit removed from the heart of the downtown core so I'm looking forward to getting to explore a different part of the city and see new places.
You've been touring with the production for awhile now, how have you found the audience reaction differs from city to city?
Well it definitely changes depending on where we go but it's been warm and receptive no matter what. West Palm Beach has actually probably been the biggest challenge because it's been a lot of ‘blue hairs' (as we call them in the theatre world) coming out to see the show and sometimes they are a bit more reserved and it takes more to really get them going. But we are coming into the weekend and already seeing everyone liven up a bit - and are excited for Toronto audiences to show us what they've got!
This is a show where everyone is already so familiar with the characters and the overall "story" of The Addams Family, do you find that is a challenge when it comes to fleshing out your roles on stage?
It can be, but this show was never meant to simply be a musical version of the classic television show.
We've heard a lot about how much the show has been changed from the Broadway production - did you get a chance to see the NYC version and can you tell us a bit about the changes that have been made?
I did see it in NYC, I actually saw it right before I auditioned for the touring production. There have been a lot of changes made and I think people are really going to like our version of the show. Some songs have been cut, some of the choreography has been changed around...Morticia isn't going through menopause in our version! Basically the book has been completely re-vamped, and in our version the story focuses much more on the love story between Wednesday and my character Lucas and the whole dynamic with the family and how Wednesday growing up affects all of them.
A lot of our readers know you first and foremost for your work in Next to Normal, during which time you did a lot of successful fundraisers for various causes and some great cabaret style nights in NYC. Any chance we could convince you to do something like that while you are here in Toronto?
I would love to! I always enjoyed those kinds of evenings and currently the cast is raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which is a great cause, so it would be wonderful to get out in Toronto and do something to support them. The problem is that Toronto is coming up fast so I don't know if we will have time to put something together, but we do like karaoke so hopefully at the very least we will find a cool spot to hang out and sing some tunes.