Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Tuesday,
Sep 30th
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!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

For Norm Coleman, the enemy of his enemy is a client

Ron Kampeas A former Republican Jewish senator’s work for the Saudis isn’t as strange as it sounds. ... [Link]

P.A. peace negotiator Erekat compares Netanyahu to ISIS leader

Marcy Oster Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator in peace talks with Israel, compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the leader of ISIS. ... [Link]

What did King David drink? Israeli wine researchers aim to revive ancient libations

Ben Sales A group of Israeli researchers is in a years-long quest to produce wine identical to that consumed in ancient Israel. ... [Link]

Dutch teen suspended from school following threats to cut off Jews’ heads

Cnaan Liphshiz A Dutch high school student was suspended after posting a video in which he said he belonged to ISIS and wanted to decapitate Jews. ... [Link]

Is lunar eclipse at Sukkot an ominous sign?

mbrodsky A Jewishly observant space expert provides the lowdown on the “blood moon” rising at holiday time. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: Hearing the left, sand and citrus, roving rabbis

Raffi Wineburg JTA rounds up noteworthy news items from the Web. ... [Link]

U.S. resumes sending Hellfire missiles to Israel

Ron Kampeas The United States has resumed delivery of Hellfire missiles to Israel. ... [Link]

Lancet editor visiting Israel following outcry over anti-Israel letter

Marcy Oster The editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, which ran an open letter accusing Israel of a “massacre” in Gaza, is visiting Israel. ... [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