BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
First Charles Addams' macabre cartoons in The New Yorker seeped into the cultural mainstream, next came the much-rerun TV sitcom derived from his characters, and later on two popular films. Many people are thus fondly acquainted with the Westfield artist's ghoulish folks.
So it wasn't much of a surprise that the audience at a preview for "The Addams Family," which bowed Thursday at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, enthusiastically clapped in rhythm to the sinister six-note sitcom theme quoted in the opening bars of the new Broadway musical's overture.
Next they screamed with delight at the initial reveal of the entire Addams clan in a typically seedy pose, perfectly incarnated by a priceless company led by Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, who are dead-ringers for dear Gomez and Morticia.