By Rob Weinert-Kendt
The playwright Jon Robin Baitz walks healthily among the living, but in some ways his articulate, carefully constructed plays feel like throwbacks to a more literate, less cynical age. Plays such as The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels and The Paris Letter, map out internecine battles of love and loyalty among family, friends and lovers with a comic clarity that evokes Shaw, and a fraught psychological texture, thick with explosive secrets and lies, that recalls Ibsen.
Given those antecedents, it’s surprising that his career until last year was bookended by two formative West Coast experiences that would seem to belie his plays’ well-made classicism.
By Diane Snyder
What does being Addams-y mean? That’s a question the creative team behind the splashy Addams Family Broadway musical had to decide as they wrote—and rewrote—their show, based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams and brought to life in the 1960s TV series, and 1990s feature films, and finally on Broadway in 2009.
To production supervisor Jerry Zaks, Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and their relations aren’t so different from the rest of us; their weirdness is just more pronounced.