The Ancestors

The other day, a cast member in his 20s told me that I was so lucky to have grown up in the 80s. He said that the 80s were the last decade of innocence. That all of us “during that era” believed that the technology that was created during that time was the most advanced it would ever get. That we thought that the cordless phones, the arcade video games and MTV videos were the most advanced form of technology we would ever see.

I remember my bat mitzvah as being so cutting edge because we had a video screen on the wall of Nifty Normans restaurant (does that still exist Detroit peeps?) playing Michael Jackson videos. Between that, the hired break dancers, and the invitation featuring a picture of me on the phone, the Ochs family thought we were the Jetsons of West Bloomfield.

We are spending this week in the Deep South. After leaving Knoxville, TN we are on our way to Oxford, MS and then to Jackson, Mississippi. These places are incredibly rich in history. Most of the historical landmarks showcase battles, both physical and political, that were fought for the rights we enjoy today. Women’s sufferage, Civil Rights and land preservation were heralded by those who came before us.

Also, I would like to point out that there is a lot of delicious, incredibly fattening food in this part of the Country. They will serve anything, and I mean everything, battered and fried.

My favorite thing was seeing the names of the famous actors who had performed at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville before us. Butterfly McQueen, Tony Perkins and Fanny Brice were just a few. Also, the people in the South have the best manners. It is the first time I have not minded being called “ma’am” by someone younger than me.

This coming week, Sam will be the only Pugsley to perform, as Jeremy is headed home to rehearse for and then perform in the Tonys this weekend. His show A Christmas Story was nominated and he gets to live the dream of many am actor before him by being part of a historical night. His dad took us out last night and we toasted Jeremy on his upcoming experience.

In The Addams Family Musical, the conscience of the show is a Greek chorus of different generations of Addams ancestors. It is made up of previous members of The Addams Family who are now deceased (the caveman, the Indian, and the 20s flapper girl to name a few). We learn during the show what each one of these “ghosts” went through in their lifetimes and how their experiences influence what the current family believes today. (I often pretend at after-parties that I was one of the Ancestors when people ask me if I was in the show. I tell them I was the ghost in the poodle skirt but I’m often blocked by the curtain, if they don’t remember seeing me on stage.)

I have decided that since Sam is done with school, that I should give him a new education of sorts. I am having him watch “classic” movies of my lifetime so that he has an appreciation for the past work of actors before him. He loves comedies and so he has enjoyed The Goonies, Say Anything, Trading Places, Spaceballs, Defending Your Life and Meatballs to name a few. It is so much fun to watch this next generation enjoy these movies. And now he knows what I mean when I crack hilarious jokes like “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.”

Sam said to me the other day, “why don’t they make movies Iike this anymore? Now every movie has 3D or special effects or too much action. These movies are just pure comedy.” But then again, he hasn’t seen Bridesmaids or 40 Year Old Virgin yet (ok. Yes he has. But just go with it. It’s a nice sentiment.)

I think it’s important to remember the work of those before us to appreciate where we are now. They paved the way for all of us to experience new things or technology, and to give us the opportunity to build on what they created.

Some new stuff is great, and some I prefer the original. And so, break a leg to Jeremy on an experience so many famous actors before you have got to be a participate in. Look out, MIssissippi, the Addams crew is barging on in for 3 days to see what you got. And for those of you readers, please feel free to offer some more classic movie choices for Sam. Everyone has that one movie that reminds them of laughing so hard it hurt. For me, it is anything with Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy or Chevy Chase in it.

Tomorrow he will be watching There’s Something About Mary so he can learn creative ways to make hair gel.








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