The Corner

Shut Up and Sing, Part MMMMDCLVIII

By consensus, The Addams Family, the musical, is the worst Broadway show in the history of Broadway shows. Did I know that before I bought tickets? Um, no. I know it now. I was beguiled by the show’s advertising campaign, which is wonderful. And who doesn’t love The Addams Family, as a brand or phenomenon?

I could entertain you for an hour saying what a dog the musical is, providing detail after gory detail (and when I say “gory,” it’s not in an Addams Family way). One of the shames is that the performers are terrific. Some of the best Broadway performers of today are in this show. Bebe Neuwirth, slinking and tango-ing around in a clingy black dress? Fantastic.

But you can’t make chicken salad out of . . .

What I really want to talk about, here in the Corner, is politics. Because, being a Broadway show, The Addams Family has politics. And those politics, of course, are left-wing. The most ignorant and dislikable character in the show is — surprise! — a right-winger, from Ohio. But, before the show’s end, he sees the light: and drops his real-estate business and his nasty capitalist ways.

In the course of these awful hours, there’s a little shot about health care. There’s a shot about the 2000 presidential election and the Electoral College. And then there’s this strange little blast about homeschooling. The character who is Wednesday Addams’s love interest mentions to her three names: Romeo, Tristan, and I forget the other one. And Wednesday says (I paraphrase), “You’ll have to cut me some slack. I don’t know who those people are. I was homeschooled.”

That could be an allusion to the famous peculiarity of the Addams family — of that particular home. But I doubt it. I think it was a blast at homeschooling at large. And, as I say, this is very strange. Honestly, whom would you expect to know more: the typical product of America’s public schools or the typical homeschooled kid? My money, for sure, would be on the much-resented, probably church-going homeschooled kid.

And I wish Broadway people could know one thing: We know you’re left-wing. There’s no question about it. Don’t worry that someone might suspect that one of you is conservative. You don’t have to establish left-wing street cred. Just go ahead and sing, and act, and dance (no matter what the material you have to work with).

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Political Clans Choose Public Life

Announcing that she has filed for divorce from her husband, Donald Trump Jr., Vanessa Trump wrote: “We ask for your privacy at this time.” That isn’t quite what she meant — apparently, nobody in the Trump family ever will speak English as fluently as Melania — but the sentiment was predictable enough. ... Read More

Two Truth-Tellers, Brave as Hell

Yesterday, the Human Rights Foundation hosted an event they called “PutinCon” -- a conference devoted to the Russian “president,” Vladimir Putin: his rise and his deeds, both at home and abroad. Participating were both Russians and well-wishing foreigners. It was, above all, a day of truth-telling -- a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Samantha Power Regrets

‘I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life,” former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power tells Politico. “Though none as immortalized as that one.” Wow. It’s a major concession. And what might “that one” be? Not standing idly by in the White House while Iranians protested a fixed election in 2009, then ... Read More