SOUTH OGDEN — Cue the double finger snaps.
The latest offering from The Ziegfeld Theater promises to be creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and — frankly — just altogether “ooky.”
On Friday, Oct. 12, “The Addams Family” opens at the South Ogden movie-theater-turned-live-community-theater, offering a Halloween-appropriate musical comedy for the entire family. The show is based on popular characters originally created by The New Yorker magazine cartoonist Charles Addams and later made famous in a 1960s sitcom by the same name.
“The Addams Family” follows the antics of Morticia and Gomez Addams, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, Uncle Fester, butler Lurch, Grandma, Thing and a host of other zany characters. The show runs through Nov. 3.
In this Broadway musical version, daughter Wednesday falls for a “normal” boy. A dinner party with his unsuspecting parents proves to be both hilarious and heartwarming.
The Ziegfeld production is directed by Eb Madson, with music directed by Jamie Balaich and choreography by Heidi Potter Hunt. The show stars Jeremy R. Gross as Gomez, Teanca Rossouw as Morticia, and Karaline Taylor as Wednesday.
While Madson isn’t old enough to have seen the original TV series, he does remember well the two movies from the early 1990s — “The Addams Family” and “Addams Family Values.” He would later rediscover the original television series.
“I was a big fan of Nick at Night (on the Nickelodeon channel), and found the old sitcom there,” he recalls. “I just loved it.”
Madson, who grew up in the Farmington area, is a graduate of the actor training program at the University of Utah and received a master’s degree from Ohio University. After spending five years in New York working in the regional theater market, Madson moved back to Utah to help with what he affectionately calls “The Zig.”
“My good friend Caleb (Parry) had opened it up, and I wanted to be a part of that,” he said.
Madson has been involved with numerous shows at The Ziegfeld Theater — including acting, assistant directing and co-directing — but “The Addams Family” is the first play he’s helmed on his own.
As both an actor and director, Madson says he tries to pay homage to past incarnations in his shows whenever he can.
“We’ve included little nods or winks — Easter eggs, I suppose — to the original versions,” he said. “I like putting little things in there that if you’re not paying attention you wouldn’t notice them.”
For example, Madson says the scenery includes a gravestone that reads “Morticia” and “1964” on it. That was the year the popular sitcom debuted on television.
Madson admits that the Broadway musical version of “The Addams Family” has a lot of what he calls “fluff” to it. But he and the cast were determined to add just a hint of substance as well.
“We decided not to make our fluff marshmallow fluff,” he said. “We changed it to dark-chocolate mousse fluff — decadent, and great for the Halloween season.”
Madson says he’d give Ziegfeld’s “The Addams Family” a PG or PG-13 rating, for “some slight adult language and humor.”
“But nothing too awful,” he quickly adds.