Andrew Lippa and THE ADDAMS FAMILY

There’s a “Brief Encounter with Andrew Lippa” up at Playbill. There’s some interesting conversation about how Lippa came to write the show and a few tidbits about the production itself, but once again it’s the focus on the different styles of music used in the musical that interests me the most:

Musically, we’re writing a musical about a family. We underscored the word family in the Addams Family. And this family is multi-generational. I decided the score was going to represent that notion. The score’s very character-based, and each of the characters sings in [his or her] own language. Gomez is represented by Flamenco-style Spanish music; and Wednesday is represented by a certain amount of contemporary pop music; and Uncle Fester is old vaudevillian in our show, and he’s sort of the host of our evening, so he speaks in a vaudeville presentation style.

That’s all very well, and I get the idea on paper, but I wonder how well it’s knitted together into the actual score. I’m more interested in what holds it together than in what separates it out; that is one of the major points in which the score of The Wild Party fails the material upon which it is based.

Let me be clear, however: I’m not as cynical about The Addams Family as I sound. I’m hoping that the show turns out to be wonderful and, if it is, I’ll smile and say that, yes, Andrew Lippa is beginning to measure up as a contemporary voice in 21st century musical theatre. But it actually has to turn out to be wonderful first.

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