The Addams Family is a smash-hit on Broadway and brings the darkly delirious world of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley and, of course, Lurch to spooky and spectacular life. This magnificently macabre new musical comedy based upon the original illustrations by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams is created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, Drama Desk-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and Olivier Award-winning director/designers Phelim McDermott & Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) with creative consultation by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks.
Come meet the family. We’ll leave the lights off for you.
Vital VOICE recently caught up with out actor Brian Justin Crum (Lucas Beinecke) by telephone while on tour in New Orleans. The hot young actor, singer and dancer chatted it up about The Addams Family, The No Judgments Campaign and getting his start in musical theatre.
Colin Murphy: So the tour is just starting off – how’s the experience been so far?
Brian Justin Crum: It’s been great. We had our first preview last night and the audience was so great and so generous. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun—but it’s been a lot of work. We’ve been in rehearsals 12-hours a day for the past two weeks getting it all together, but we’re having a blast.
CM: Did you catch reruns of The Addams Family growing up?
BJC: Yes, I did!!
CM: So how does this quirky and campy television show transform itself into a Broadway musical?
BJC: They’ve done a brilliant job of it. It’s so smart and the way they’ve built the characters around, you know, what they were in the movies and the television show and to really just build them around the people who are playing them as well. It’s kind of been a joint effort creating this show and creating these characters. But even since I’ve gotten the part I’ve gone back—because they have the TV show on Netflix—so I’ve been watching the show and comparing it. It’s funny how the heart can remains the same for so many years.
CM: Tell us about your character Lucas Beinecke?
BJC: He’s a college student in New York, who’s from Ohio. He’s a very corn-fed, Midwestern boy who falls in love with this interesting and kind of creepy girl, Wednesday Adams. They meet in Central Park and they just kind of fall in love. And we’ve gone through the plot line of they haven’t spent too much time together, but have fallen in love and want to get married. So he’s just head-over-heels for her and he’s really fun to play because he wants to be her savior—he wants to be the one who takes her away from all of this and show her the world and all of the experiences and stuff. So he’s a really sweet and loyal boyfriend.
CM: What would you say is the underlying message of the musical?
BJC: We have a saying that we use around the show, Define Normal? which has spun the No Snap Judgments campaign that we’re doing. The whole show is really about embracing who you are, embracing the differences, embracing what typical or average America might not consider to be normal. It’s asking what is normal? Who’s normal and who gets to say? So that’s really what the Addams Family is about is embracing what we say in the show, “move towards your darkness.” Embrace the things about yourself that may be different. I think that’s the underlying message: be who you are and love who you are.
CM: And that’s such an empowering message for our LGBT readers…
BJC: Absolutely, yeah.
CM: How did you get your start in musical theater?
BJC: I’m from San Diego, originally and my mom worked 12-hour days and needed something for me and my sisters to do after school while she was at work. So there was a community theater that did a youth program. So after school I would just go and be a part of the Youth Theatre in San Diego and I just fell in love with musical theater and performing. When I was 15, I started doing more professional theater in San Diego and when I was probably 17, I started auditioning for big time musicals out of Los Angeles. I auditioned for Wicked when I was 17 and booked it when I was 18. So I started rehearsal for Wicked when I was 18 and ever since it has been such a blessing. I’ve been so lucky to have so many great jobs in New York and on tour. But that’s how it all started. Wicked led to a show called Altar Boys and then that led to Grease and so I’ve been really lucky. I’m 24 now and Addams Family marks my fifth production contract, which is like a Broadway contract—so I’ve been really blessed.
CM: What advice would you give to a young person who has a dream of making it on Broadway?
BJC: It’s all about hard work. I mean I told myself that I was going to be on Broadway. There was no question about it and I did everything that I needed to do to make that happen. I took classes, I worked hard, I was constantly studying and working to better myself taking dance classes and voice lessons and acting lessons. You get out of this business what you put into it. So if you whole-heartedly go for it, it will happen. Hard work.
The U.S. Bank Broadway Series at the Fabulous Fox Theatre snaps open with The Addams Family September 27-October 9. Performance times are Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8pm; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2pm and Sunday, October 2 at 7:30pm. There is also a weekday matinee on Thursday, October 6 at 1pm. Ticket prices start at $15 & $25 and are subject to change; please refer to fabulousfox.com for current pricing. Tickets are available at the Fox Theatre box office, online at metrotix.com and by phone at 314-534-1111. Group discounts are available by calling 314-535-2900. The Fabulous Fox Theatre is located in Grand Center at 527 N. Grand Blvd. The Addams Family is part of the U.S. Bank Broadway Series and sponsored by American Airlines.
BY: COLIN MURPHY – SENIOR WRITER