Lain's Log

Tango on!!

November 19/11.

Back in June, (during the midst of my wildest "Intensity Entity" takeover), I wrote about Al Pacino and Scent of a Woman - (1992). - You know, that unforgettable tango scene in the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York City?

Have always related to the scene and Pacino's famous line leading up to the hot dance. Lt. Colonel Frank Slade asks a young woman, Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) to take a spin with him. She's scared. She's never done this before, doesn't know how, and fears saying yes because she might make a mistake. (can relate!) I love Pacino's response. He tells her, "NO mistakes in the tango. Not like life. Simple! That’s what makes the tango so great. You make a mistake, get all tangled up? - just tango on!" The Colonel is blind. She is afraid. The dance captures their mutual excitement & passion, as well as the fun, spontaneity and even breathlessness of the moment.

I was reminded of that movie dance when I saw the new musical theatre version of The Addams Family at the Toronto Centre for the Arts this afternoon.

Douglas Sills (Gomez) & Sara Gettelfinger (Morticia) in the Toronto show.

As a diehard fan of the old TV series (1964-'66), when I was a kid,
(who ADORED the tango scenes between John Astin and Carolyn Jones),

I was pretty darn sure the tango would be part of this production.

Was thrilled to see Sills and Gettelfinger re-create a tango which captures every bit of the vim, vitality and sexy playfulness of Astin & Jones. Tango on!

Someone put together this great montage of Addams Family dances, including the tango. A kick to watch.

My good friend, Pam Pickard, surprised me by travelling downtown on the subway a few days ago, solely to give me a pair of Addams Family tickets as an early Christmas gift. Thank you Pam! You are seriously too generous!

Took my son, Max to see it.

We went for lunch together at Tim Horton's on Yonge Street and then, to the matinee. - Da da da DUM, (snap, snap!)

Inside, Lurch greeted us!

And I remembered descending this same stunning staircase, 16 years ago, at the grand opening of Sunset Boulevard, (in the same way Gloria Swanson, as the creepy Norma Desmond did it on screen back in 1950).

"I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille"!

Since The Addams Family is a musical comedy,

decided to leave home without packing Kleenex, (something I generally do for EVERY show, due to my insane ability to cry at anything). Never even OCCURRED to me the production might be emotional! - WRONG!! The show spoke to me on a deeper level than I ever expected and I was hit by tears at least five times during the two-act show. Yikes. (note to my sister, Carrie: I felt a couple of these songs had ideas and lyrics almost up to Sondheim standard)!

Blake Hammond (as Uncle Fester) had me going with his phenomenally funny, yet tender and touching number, "The Moon and Me," in which he somehow floats through the night sky in slow-mo, gracefully dancing with the moon. A truly fabulous visual.
Would love to see the show a second time,

if only for Blake Hammond's moon dancing scene!

And when Gomez sings to his daughter, Wednesday (Cortney Wolfson), about his memories of her as a child and the mixed emotions of happiness/sadness he feels about her impending marriage, yep, I was a goner.

Later, young Pugsley (Patrick D. Kennedy, seen here with the very funny Pippa Pearthree as Grandma), expresses his fear about being left all alone by his sister, Wednesday, (and missing out on her daily torture)!! -

in "What If." (I was really wishing I brought that Kleenex)!

And the song "Full Disclosure?" - LOOK OUT! The Addams Family members like to play this revealing game. They drink from a sacred chalice and then spill their deepest, darkest secrets to one another.

This dangerous game results in a surprising song from the amazing Crista Moore (as Alice Beineke, mother of Wednesday's groom-to-be). She hits nerves with her over-the-top, drug-induced number, "Waiting," all about the memories of her youthful passion and the way she somehow morphed into a strait-laced Stepford Wife-like lady, looking, waiting & hoping for the spark to return to her life. Brilliant performance from this Broadway star - (and two-time Tony nominee).

The show talks about the risks we take for love, how to feel inner joy in your own way, no matter WHAT anybody else thinks, embracing the darkness of your despair and facing your blackest demons. "Move towards the darkness, and smile"! (not exactly thoughts you hear every day)!

Brian Justin Crum (Lucas) and Cortney Wolfson (Wednesday)
Among my fave lines? Wednesday, when she says, "Don't psycho-analyze me! It's a deep, dark hole and you don't wanna GO there"!

Lucas, (Wednesday's boyfriend), who declares, "I can be impulsive. - I just have to THINK about it first"!

And when Pugsley is frightened and begs, "Make me feel better Mum". Gulp. Morticia responds, "Life is a tightrope my child. And at the other end is your coffin". The show teaches us, - To each his own! I love that message.

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