Review: The Addams Family at the Hippodrome

Let me start by saying that I love the theatre. I love it so much that usually the experience of going to the theatre is enough to negate most of the flaws in a show. This was not the case for the Addams Family at the Hippodrome.

Let’s start with a video, shall we? Just so we are all on the same page.

Well, wasn’t that… cheery? Yes. Yes it was cheery. I think that was my big problem with the show. I could ignore the fact that the set had wrinkled flats, I could ignore that the lighting made Morticia’s dress look purple (despite Wednesday having a line about her wearing all black), and I could ignore Wednesday’s lack of pigtails. But I can’t ignore the fact that the cheery music you just heard was pervasive throughout the show.

On second look, I think the dress actually IS part purple. Why would they design a purple dress when Wednesday clearly has a line about her wearing all black?

I would like to take a moment here to point out that the actors did a fine job acting given the script, and a fine job singing despite the music, which made me go “hey, that song sounds just like this other song I know.” Watch that clip again and tell me it doesn’t sound like the Sex and the City intro.

I feel bad. The majority of the issue in the show was the music and the plot. And OH that plot.

(but let’s be honest. You’re probably not going to see this show anyway)

The plot, for those of you who don’t know, is that Wednesday is getting married. It looked for a moment that the plot was going to revolve around Wednesday suddenly feeling warm and fuzzy from being in love and how that takes its toll on the family (Kind of like Addams Family Values when the baby turns normal). Wednesday even has a pretty funny song called “Pulled” about her new strange feelings. The problem is that this plot is dropped real fast and Wednesday is just pain happy cheery, as opposed to being conflicted about being that way, which would have been funny.


SO, Wednesday is engaged to this boy Luke. We don’t get to watch any of this love story. We hear a short anecdote about how they met (it includes a crossbow) but that’s it. We have no reason to root for the couple. We don’t even know if they’re old enough to get married. We just know that Luke is in school (hopefully college).

They're totes in love!

One of the biggest plot problems I had with the show was the central conflict between Gomez and Morticia. It was pretty unbelievable, even for musical theatre. Wednesday made Gomez promise not to tell Morticia about the engagement until she made the announcement after dinner with Luke’s family. Gomez then has a song about how he has never ever kept anything from his wife, but he can’t say no to his daughter. Gomez Addams is stronger than that! WTF? As a semi-grown young woman, sometime over the course of her childhood Wednesday MUST have asked for things he said no to. And Morticia’s birthdays must have all been pretty dull if he is incapable of keeping a small secret from her. Anyway, he says yes to Wednesday.

Morticia of course can tell he is hiding something, and proceeds to flip the fuck out. Instead of saying something like “Cara Mia, our darling Wednesday has a surprise for after dinner and I promised I wouldn’t tell.” He acts like a guilty little boy, which feeds Morticia’s anger.

Morticia even goes so far as to sing a song to Luke’s mother about how if Gomez ever lied to her, she would leave him. She makes it a specific point to say that she would not let him explain himself. Wow, some marriage. No gray area at all, which is funny because they have another song that features the idea that nothing is black and white, everything is shades of gray.

This was her angry song

So, of course she finds out and decides to leave him.

What the actual fuck? I had a REALLY hard time believing that their marriage of at least 18 years (assuming Wednesday is 18) would break apart over this. It was just dumb. And it’s not like they established pre-existing marital problems and this was the catalyst. No. Everything was perfect before. Oh, this would be a good place to note that Uncle Fester served as the narrator for the show and wasn’t really involved in the plot. Which was a shame, because Gomez and Fester are brothers and should have been able to discuss Gomez’s crazy wife problem. NOTE: This entire conflict was ADDED to for the US tour and had no part in the Broadway show.

My final plot complaint is the way Wednesday and Luke’s story wrapped up. I’ll skip the boring bits and get to them fighting because he isn’t impulsive enough to run away with her and elope. On the verge of making up he says he would die for her. She asks him to prove it (a nod to Joan Cussack?). She asks him to let her blindfold him so she can shoot an apple off of his head with a crossbow.

WHAT?! Being willing to die for your significant other is not terrible uncommon, but it is usually implied that “I would die for you [if there were no other options].” And “I would die for you” is VERY different than “I am going to let you do something very risky and unnecessary that could end in you killing me.”

I would catch a grenade for ya... but only after I made sure there was no way to get us both out of the way and I was positive that me catching the grenade was the ONLY way to save your life.

BUT he agrees and takes it one step further. He wants to blindfold her so that she can shoot blindfolded because…

They are so in love and so connected that love will guide the arrow….

No. Just no. I’m getting mad again just thinking about it.

SO, in conclusion, the actors did the best job they could given the horrendous script and over-done music. I went with a good friend so we had a good time making fun of it.

If you go:
The Addams Family Tour at The Hippodrome, on stage March 6-18th
12 North Eutaw Street Baltimore, MD 21201
Tickets start at $55 and are available at

8 thoughts on “Review: The Addams Family at the Hippodrome

  1. Damn it all.  Having heard about the revamp, I was actually pretty curious to go and catch this.  But it sounds like they made it worse, as opposed to an improvement. 

  2. I totally enjoyed this show. I loved the costumes, the songs and the dancing and Uncle Fester was terrific! Accept this show for the storyline and enjoy the music!!

    1. I did enjoy the portrayal of Uncle Fester, however I really wish he were involved in the plot. When Gomez and Morticia were having marital problems, I would have loved to see Gomez go talk to his brother about it.

  3. As a lifetime fan of Charles Addams, I strongly disagree with this reviewer’s opinion of the plot. These characters are not meant to serve as role models. Their extreme behavior is what makes them amusing. If they happen to be right twice a day, that’s about normal for a broken clock.

    I also take issue with the notion that the music ought to be dreary and lugubrious. Though this family clearly embraces the darker side of human nature, their joy is not diminished in that it centers on the moon rather than the sun, the thorn rather than the rose. Furthermore, this story concerns their sincere effort to put their best foot forward, whomever it belonged to. Therefore I found the music to be engaging and appropriate, its Latin flavor a proper reflection of Gomez’ heritage. 

    I strongly urge all fans of the weird and wonderful to attend this very entertaining show!

    1. As a lifetime fan of Charles Addams, how do you respond to Gomez and Morticia’s fight? I’ve always seen their love as a love of the ages; strong and passionate. I couldn’t personally get past the fact that so much of the show was taken up by their fighting over something so silly. 

  4. Went and saw the show on Saturday night. After reading this I was really hoping you were wrong and I would like it, but it turns out you were right- at intermission my wife and I were both wishing it was over. The sets were nice, the acting/singing was fine, but there was nothing to hold your attention. The second half of the show was brutal, and I was very happy to leave. My tickets were free, but I would’ve been very upset if I would’ve spent the $75 each on them. 

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