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'Addams Family' actress plays role that speaks powerfully to young women

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Jennifer Fogarty loves playing the character of Wednesday, the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams in “The Addams Family” the musical because she says her role offers a powerful message to young women. Fogarty, who has played the role over 300 times, will be in Indianapolis with the national touring company of the show when it plays Tuesday, May 13 through Sunday, May 19 at Clowes Memorial Hall as part of the Broadway in Indianapolis season.

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“The Addams Family,” with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, is based on the ghoulish but loving family of characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. In this musical version, there is an original story about Wednesday, Fogarty’s character, who falls in love with a “normal” young man from a respectable family. Eventually, the family’s dynamics erupt into turmoil on the night the Addams host a dinner for Wednesday’s boyfriend and his parents.

Forgarty, a Boston, Mass., native, graduated from Curry College. In Jan. of 2013 she joined the tour, which played Asia for two months last summer and all over the U.S. Prior to her stint in “The Addams Family,” Fogarty performed primarily in regional theaters

Recently Examiner.com had an opportunity to sit down with Fogarty to briefly chat about the show, her role and the tour

What has been the audience response towards "The Addams Family?"

It’s a range of things. Of course, everybody has a great time but a lot people see the heart of the show as well which is so important. The best part about it is you get to see this really loving family go through something that we all go through and I think it is so relatable that way. Everyone has a good time. It’s funny. It’s different. It’s kooky, it’s silly.

It’s based on the cartoon but when people come to they expect it to be like the TV show?

Absolutely. The show is more like the television series than the movie but I think they get confused, especially when they see my character a little bit older and I don’t have the pigtails in the show. I always tell people “you are coming to see the characters everyone knows and loves so much but it’s an original story now and it’s going to take you on a different journey into the future.”

What is the social message regarding Wednesday’s character falling for a normal guy?

You know, I love talking about this. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about because I get a lot of letters from young girls who write to me and say “Thank you for making me for feel it’s ok to be different.” She’s with someone who is a little different and we are all the same and there is really no definition of what is normal.

Tell me about life on the road.

Life on the road is great. You get to go to all these places that you would never get to go to. It’s quite the experience. You mostly live in hotels but you find ways to make it your own and make it special and like home to you and you travel with a bunch of people who become your family.

What has been your schedule ?

We’ve done a lot of one-nighters but we also did a lot of sit downs, one or two weeks in cities during the run.

Did you make a point to go off and explore cities that you tour in?

Yes. If we could. Sometimes it depended on the schedule or how rough our week was but it was something that most everyone tried to do. I like to revisit places I have been to in more of a vacation style rather than going for work. Most of my favorite cities were in Kentucky. Who would have thought? Also, in Asia. I adored Singapore. I would go back there anytime.

How many in the cast?

We have about 20 something, but 30. Our chorus who play our ancestors understudy the principal roles as well. The ancestors basically help move the show and are amazing. The youngest is 23 and the oldest is in his 40s.

No doubt you have all bonded?

Actually Indianapolis is our last stop on the tour and it’s going to be very sad when we have to say goodbye. I am trying to prepare myself for it as much as I possibly can because I definitely want to sing that last note in the show. You always say I will see you soon or you think you are going to hang out more than you actually do. Also I don’t live in New York City which means I am further away from everyone.

What do you hope to do beyond "Addams Family?"

Well one day at a time I suppose. I hope to stay in the musical theater business. This summer I will have a couple months off but then I will be doing “The Addams Family” again in two different regional theaters.

If there was a show that you would kill to be in what would it be?

“Next to Normal.” It has great message. Natalie, the daughter, is an actor’s role. I think it’s a great show. The music is beautiful but the story is so rich and I love an actor show. It goes deeper than “The Addams Family” and I would like to do something like that.

What can audiences expect when they come to see the show?

They can expect to see all the same characters that they know and love but they should expect to see an original story told which is a little different. I hope they will be open to that because they are going to see a different side to the characters than you’ve seen before. It’s very relatable to everybody whether you are 14 or 50 or 102 like grandma.

Tickets to “The Addams Family” are available in person at Broadway Across America Box Office downtown at 342 Massachusetts Ave., Clowes Memorial Hall, The Old National Centre Ticket Office, online at BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com or by phone at 1-800-982-2787.

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