Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Wednesday,
Feb 10th
Home Leisure Arts, Culture & More Is the Addams Family kind of Jewish? Maybe

Is the Addams Family kind of Jewish? Maybe

E-mail Print PDF

Douglas SillsWHY is it that so many comic actors, comedy writers and directors are Jewish? And why does a lot of comedy sound Jewish although it’s not necessarily meant to be?

Douglas Sills, who is playing the lead role of Gomez in The Addams Family, playing through July 1 at the DCPA Buell Theater, has a theory.

“Growing up in a Jewish home, you often hear irony and sarcasm as basic condiments of conversation, and so many writers have inculcated this into their comedy.”

Sills, a stage, screen and television actor, with a varied list of credits from Shakespeare to musical comedy, says he’s enjoying the role of Gomez.

The character is the odd Addam’s family patriarch, who underneath all the macabre trimmings, is just another adoring husband and loving father who wants “shalom bayit” — peace in the home and happiness for his children. (Never mind that the children have monsters for pets and the family’s butler is a zombie!)

There’s also the familiar anxiety over meeting the potential in-laws: normal, all-American people, contrasted to the eccentric, expressive, foreign-rooted Addamses. This scenario smacks of the intermarriage issues faced by many Jewish families.

In this way, Sills agrees that the touring production of The Addam’s Family could subtly be a Jewish show.

SILLS grew up in a Jewish household in Detroit. He describes that Jewish community as “unusual in that it’s very big, but very, very tight, very close.”

His family was moderately observant: Shabbat candles every Friday night and big family holiday dinners.

“It was a great way to grow up. We learned a sense of responsibility to each other and an appreciation for ritual. It gave us a sense of belonging.”

Sills was involved in theater throughout his childhood, but after college, he felt he should follow the path of others in his family and go to law school for something “to fall back on.”

He scored 99% on his LSATs and was planning to attend Stanford Law School, when his father realized how important acting was to his son.

His father encouraged him to wholeheartedly pursue theater with the knowledge that he could go to law school any time in the future.

Sills’ supportive father passed away a few years ago, but he left the family business to his children. Sills runs the business while keeping busy on the stage — the best of both worlds for him, he says.

Copyright © 2012 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 June 2012 14:12 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Cast Your Vote

Would you vote for Bernie Sanders?
 

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire primary, makes Jewish history

Uriel Heilman (JTA) – Bernie Sanders made history Tuesday night when he became the first Jewish candidate in U.S. history to win a presidential primary election. With the vote results in New Hampshire still tric... [Link]

Did Bernie Sanders just steal Joe Lieberman’s Jewish crown?

Ami Eden Bernie Sanders just became the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential primary. Maybe now he’ll start getting the Joe Lieberman treatment. ... [Link]

Archaeologists say Western Wall plan endangers site

Julie Wiener (JTA) — New construction aimed at providing a space for non-Orthodox prayer at the Western Wall would damage “the most important archaeological site for the Jewish people,” a group of Israeli ar... [Link]

Jewish day schools in 2 US cities receive threatening phone calls

Julie Wiener (JTA) — Threats to Jewish day schools in two U.S. cities prompted police investigations a day after Jewish schools in Britain received bomb threats. The Perelman Jewish Day School in Lower Merion, P... [Link]

Mayim Bialik puts Jewish modesty aside, flashes Piers Morgan

Andrew Tobin NEW YORK (JTA) — Actress Mayim Bialik, a public advocate of her Jewish faith and modesty, showed her cleavage to Piers Morgan on a talk show. On Monday’s “Late Late Show with James Cord... [Link]

UNESCO recognizes Israel’s Aleppo Codex in registry of world treasures

Julie Wiener (JTA) — The Aleppo Codex — believed to be the world’s oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew Bible — has been officially recognized as a treasured item by the United Nations Educational Scientifi... [Link]

Presidents Conference meets with Erdogan amid Turkey-Israel reconciliation efforts

Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) — A delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey and Israel seek to improve ties... [Link]

Nevada’s Democratic caucus conflicts with Shabbat

Julie Wiener The country’s third primary election for Democratic candidates is scheduled for Feb. 20, a Saturday, at noon. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com