The Daily Gazette
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Don't miss that dress

I always enjoy watching patrons explore the showcase windows along the corridor that leads to Proctors Mainstage -– some for the first time, others as a matter of course when they attend an event at Proctors, the region’s premier arts and entertainment complex.

The original copper-clad showcase windows of the former Carl Company in downtown Schenectady still line the Arcade at Proctors. True guardians of the arts –- and gifted with a flair for drama and detail –- Proctors staff and History Committee see that the windows are changed with regularity.

The focus of this visual merchandising has ranged from displays devoted to Charlie Chaplin and movie theatre history to those honoring the work of contemporary local artists that have become pieces unto themselves.

Presently, thanks to the energy of Amy DeBiase, proprietor of Bliss Gifts & Home Décor at 160 Jay St., across State from Proctors, one of the windows will showcase the upcoming musical comedy "The Addams Family" (Nov. 29 – Dec. 4 at Proctors). Bliss Gifts & Home Décor is one of Jay Street’s most notable shops, in large measure due to the exquisite taste of DeBiase.

Her detailed window for Proctors is replete with an homage to "The Addams Family" -– including an original dress that American actress, singer and dancer Beatrice “Bebe” Neuwirth (pictured) wore in her award-winning role of Morticia Addams in the original production of the show, opposite Nathan Lane. Bebe's slinky, thigh-high boots also will be included as well as a suit worn by the peculiarly redoubtable romantic Gomez.

Many will know Bebe for her portrayal of Dr. Lilith Sternin, Dr. Frasier Crane's wife (later ex-wife), on both the TV sitcom "Cheers" (in a starring role), and its spin-off "Frasier" (in a recurring guest role). In her 25 years in show business, Neuwirth has excelled at the stylized and remote. The dress says it all!

On stage, she is also known for originating the role of Nickie in the revival of "Sweet Charity," and the role of Velma Kelly in the revival of "Chicago" (both for which she earned a Tony award).

In April 2010 she returned to Broadway to create the role of Morticia Addams, opposite Nathan Lane as Gomez in $16.5 million musical adaptation of "The Addams Family."

Just as exciting, Neuwirth will appear –- in the flesh -– at Proctors in "Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano," on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m.

For lovers of theater, its players, fashion and of course, "The Addams Family," this enticing display will be absolutely stunning -- and altogether ooky.

Thom O’Connor can be found often in the lobby at Proctors, welcoming patrons and suggesting things to do before show time.

For more on Proctors, click here.

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