‘Addams Family’ is anything but normal

Morticia Addams and the rest of the family are at the Academy of Music.  Credit: Carol Rosegg Morticia Addams and the rest of the family are at the Academy of Music.
Credit: Carol Rosegg

It’s only fitting that KeLeen Snowgren was pulled away from a desk job in Dallas to play Morticia Addams. After her last show closed almost two years ago, Snowgren says that she decided “that I wanted to stop musical theater and try my hand at a normal life.” A year and a half later, she received a call out of the blue to audition for the touring company of the Broadway musical version of “The Addams Family,” a clan for whom “normal life” is anything but.

The show, by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, and Andrew Lippa, is based on the darkly comic cartoons by Charles Addams, which have also been adapted as a 1960s TV series and a pair of movies in the 1990s. Snowgren studied the actresses who have preceded her as Morticia — Carolyn Jones on television, Angelica Huston in the films, and Bebe Neuwirth in the original Broadway cast — to prepare her own take on the role.

“II always loved the character,” she says, “especially when Angelica Huston played it. Morticia is a very tall, dark, sultry woman, but ultimately she’s also a wife and mother who was always caring, always nurturing, always concerned for her family’s well-being. I wanted to make sure that would come across when I played her.”

A self-described “Yankee Texan,” Snowgren was born in Minnesota but raised in Houston, where she followed her twin sister into acting. Despite the fact that her sister “got the better role than I did in the school play,” Snowgren insists that there’s never been any sibling rivalry between the twins. “There’s zero competition between us. We’re best friends and totally supportive.”

While her return to the stage interrupted her attempt at normality, Snowgren says she’s glad to be back in front of audiences. “At the end of a work day you’ve got a room full of people standing on their feet and congratulating you with a round of applause for doing a good job,” she say. “It’s not normal, but it’s a pretty good life.”

If you go
‘The Addams Family’
Through March 24
Academy of Music
240 S. Broad St.
$20-$100, 215-893-1999
www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway

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