On Tuesday, June 28, THE ADDAMS FAMILY welcomed stage and screen star Brooke Shields in the role of Morticia Addams, made famous by Bebe Neurwirth. Shields joined current Broadway cast members Roger Rees as Gomez, Brad Oscar as Fester, Rachel Potter as Wednesday, Jackie Hoffman as Grandma, Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Heidi Blickenstaff as Alice Beineke, Adam Grupper as Mal Beineke and Jesse Swenson as Lucas Beineke.
On July 7, Shields officially opened in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Richard Ridge was there with BroadwayWorld to talk with the company about the addition of their newest matriarch.
Brooke Shields (Morticia)
Welcome home to Broadway! How does it feel?
It is a home. They really make you feel like they're waiting for you, and that it's your home, and that you belong there. It's great - it's absolutely the biggest honor.
How did this show come into your life?
They approached my agent! I had seen the show with my daughter. I'm a friend and fan of Bebe's and I saw her do it. Who knows, maybe they got an idea and they knew Bebe was going to leave, but she was amazing in helping me transition into the cast. And they asked if I'd be willing to do it, and I thought 'Who says no to playing Morticia?'
Talk about what you love about the musical and this role.
I love the heart in it. For as much as it's ghoulish and ghostly and morbid with eyeballs and appendages - and I love that - there is something at its core that is really touching. It's a surprise every time to see this family, as dysfunctional as it is have real issues and they're really working them out. But their love gets them through, and you wouldn't expect that in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. They've somehow done that with the book. When you get inside the music, it's surprising to me and it's beautiful.
Talk a little about how it feels to transform into Morticia, putting on the outfit, the nails, the wig...
Well we do our own make-up. And that's one of the things that people don't ever realize, is that when you're in theatre, you do your own make-up. It's a very meditative time, and I love it. The minute the lips go on and then the hair goes on, your posture sort of changes. There's a regalness that you feel - and by the way I can't move in the dress! - so I'm forced to stay nice and symmetrical the who show, which is why I need a chiropractor.
Brad Oscar (Uncle Fester)
Talk about how you feel tonight, Brooke's officially opening. The rest of you have been performing for a while in this show.
Tonight was great. It sort of snuck up on all of us. I don't think we realized it was an 'opening' of sorts until all you guys were there and all of a sudden this was Brooke's official opening! So it was fun, because most of us have been doing the show now for a couple of months - the new cast. So it's always exciting when someone new comes in and it all becomes alive again.
How has it been performing with Brooke?
I have had the pleasure of knowing Brooke casually for years through mutual friends, but I've never been able to work with her. So this is a real kick for me, because I've always admired her and she's the sweetest thing in the world. She knows what this is about. She understands the discipline of doing eight shows a week, and she is committed to it. She is a true pro in that way. We're thrilled to have her, and she looks drop dead gorgeous. We're looking forward to a great run with her!
Rachel Potter (Wednesday)