New Jersey: Keepin’ it all in the (Addams) family

What do “The Addams Family” and New Jersey have in common?

You might say, “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky,” but the similarities don’t end there – at least when it comes to the cast of the new Broadway musical “The Addams Family A New Musical.”

Mommy and Daddy – aka Morticia and Gomez – are played by Garden State natives Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane. Bebe, who is perhaps best known for her turn as Lilith in “Cheers,” is from Princeton. Though I absolutely loved her as Andie MacDowell’s best friend Lauren in “Green Card.”

“In that case, I wouldn’t mind seeing George again myself,” Lauren quips. “He’s dishy.

And Nathan, who is unforgettable in “The Birdcage,” is from Jersey City.

Who knew?

For the record, “The Addams Family A New Musical” opens on Thursday.

But wait, I’m not finished with the Jersey connections just yet. The creator of “The Addams Family,” cartoonist Charles Addams, grew up in Westfield!

According to Wikipedia, it is believed that the Westfield house Addams lived in – 552 Elm Street – and another on Dudley Avenue are the combined inspiration for the Addams Family mansion in his cartoons. In addition, it is said that Addams liked to visit the Presbyterian Cemetery on Mountain Avenue.

And isn’t it ironic that I’m writing about Addams and his lovable creations today, because it just so happens that Westfield is paying tribute to the artist at 1 p.m. Yes, that’s right. Six large wooden letters spelling out ADDAMS and decorated by students of the Westfield school system will be unveiled this afternoon by The Westfield Board of Education, The Downtown Westfield Corporation, The Westfield Historical Society and The Charles Addams Art Scholarship.

New Jersey is just full of inspiring, talented people, isn’t it?

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