By David Steinberg In the musical comedy "The Addams Family" Grandma is a wise-cracking woman of 102. But take it from Amanda Bruton there's more to the character of Grandma than that. "She is incredibly wise and compassionate and she loves her family," said Bruton, who portrays Grandma in the international touring company production of the show. The production is coming to Popejoy Hall, and the first of six performances is Thursday, March 20. Bruton offered many reasons for loving the show - and its story. "I think Charles Addams' work is timeless," she said. Between 1938 and 1988, Addams' created thousands of cartoons on which the characters in the show are based. Many of the cartoons had appeared in The New Yorker. Bruton also has an affection for the TV series and the feature films drawn from the same fictional characters. And now the musical. The musical opened on Broadway in the spring of 2010 and closed in December 2011 after more than 700 performances. Critic John Simon called the Broadway show "uproarious! A glitzy-gloomy musical entirely worth of the macabre drawings by Charles Addams." In the original cast, Nathan Lane was Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth was Morticia, the parents. The show won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design and won the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Broadway Musical. "Whether people are familiar with 'The Addams Family' or not, they can relate to it," Bruton said. "When you take a family that is 'not normal,' and make it dark and spooky and put them in a 'normal' (society) then hilarity will ensue. In our show, 'normal' doesn't exist. And I definitely would say that Grandma is not normal. "I think that's an important and relevant message for the times we live in. Today, it's really a great message for young people that it's OK to be different and not afraid to be who they are and embrace it," she added. This is Bruton's first national and international tour. The tour started about 13 months ago and ends this May. The company has traveled all over the United States and has spent two months performing the show in China, Macao and Singapore. "It's an incredible experience," she said. "I'm someone who loves to travel and I'm doing it with a cast and company I respect and admire and love. And I get to see the world and the United States at the same time. It's kind of like the best-case scenario for me." After the tour concludes, Bruton plans to return to her home in New York City and probably do some summer stock. She is also a voice-over artist for commercials and does narrations for audio books. "It's a dream of mine to do what I'm doing now and do it in New York City. Off-Broadway or on Broadway would definitely be an amazing opportunity," she said. Popejoy Hall is in the Center for the Arts on the University of New Mexico campus. The six performances of "The Addams Family" are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 22 and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. March 23. Single tickets are available at www.unmtickets.com, at ticket offices in the UNM Bookstore and the Pit and at area Albertsons supermarkets, by calling 925-5858 or toll-free (877)-664-8661 or at the door. The presentation is part of Popejoy's La Vida Llena Broadway in New Mexico Series.