'Addams Family' actress returns to her Pittsburgh roots
Gaelen Gilliland is looking forward to a visit to Kennywood Park.
She's back in town through Aug. 12 in the national touring production of “The Addams Family” at the Benedum Center. Downtown. Gilliland plays Alice Beineke, the mother of Wednesday Addams' excruciatingly conventional fiance.
“I'm looking forward to showing Pittsburgh to my friends in the cast,” says Gilliland, who hopes to introduce them to the West Mifflin amusement park where she worked for two summers before graduating from Fox Chapel High School.
She also hopes to introduce them to local sites that include the inclines, Primanti's and Wholey's.
Now a resident of New York City, Gilliland has performed on Broadway in musicals that include “9 to 5,” “Legally Blonde” and “Wicked.”
But she got her start here with a best-actress nomination at the Gene Kelly Awards for her performance as “Rosie” in the 1991 Fox Chapel High School production of “Bye Bye Birdie” and her appearance as Sister Mary Leo in Jude Pohl Productions' “Nunsense.”
Pittsburgh also was where she earned her Equity card by playing Maria in Pittsburgh Musical Theater's 2001 production of “The Sound of Music.” That same year, she appeared in “Casper The Musical” at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theater, Gilliland has appeared in national tours of “Seussical,” “Sound of Music,” “Grease” and “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
The daughter of an artist and an engineer, Gilliland says she was good at math and science but always into singing and dancing.
“Mom said ‘Follow your dream.' Dad said ‘Become an accountant so you have something to fall back on,” she recalls. “But I fell into theater and never looked back.”
— Alice Carter
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trib 30 index surpasses August high
- In Steelers-Saints game, all eyes on Brown-Lewis matchup
- Pittsburgh councilwoman proposes rules for protecting dogs from extreme weather
- Connellsville girls basketball looks for returners to be leaders in 2014-15
- Knoch boys deal with early-season injury
- Knoch girls putting focus on defensive end
- Season of change on tap for South Allegheny boys basketball
- Mirai debut brings fuel cell future closer
- Trib real estate writer Spatter ‘worked right to the end’
- Cash-strapped Pittsburgh Public Schools to sponsor holiday parade
- Carnegie boy with rare gene mutation enjoys 1st Penguins game