The colorful, kooky characters that make up the Addams Family have been popular for years. These dark characters with a fascination for the macabre have been seen in comics, in a television show, in movies, and now in a fun musical, onstage at Harnett Regional Theatre under the direction of Angela Martin.
The musical, aptly named The Addams Family, focuses on young Wednesday Addams (Audrey Moore), who has recently found love with the much-more-mainstream Lucas (Taylor Gilbert). Wednesday wants to introduce Lucas, whom she plans to marry, and his parents to her family, but she’s scared that her wacky crew will scare them off.
Wednesday begs her family to “act normal” for just one night and tells some lies and secrets along the way…adding up to hilarious look at how the evening unfolds. Add in the fact that dead ancestors have been enlisted to help things go smoothly, and you’ve got a play that’s every bit as crazy (but also as fun!) as the characters that inspired it.
Director Martin, who also serves as choreographer, has really outdone herself with this production, along with the help of her costume crew (Vicki Wade, Lena Langdon, and Blair Chance). One of the most striking features is the eerie, completely gray from head-to-toe costumes worn by the large cast of “ancestors.” The gray makeup gives them an other-worldly, magical kind of quality that really adds to the show’s atmosphere.
Another nice feature of the show is Martin’s choreography. Several musical numbers involve the entire, very large cast onstage, but the choreography always manages to appear smooth and is also just a lot of fun to watch.
And, while all the members of the cast are on point in their roles, the ladies in this show really stand out. Young Moore makes for a picture-perfect Wednesday and really nails her musical numbers, especially Act I’s “Pulled.” Likewise, Sarah Jane Miller makes for a wonderfully sultry and commanding Morticia Addams while Amy Langdon garners many laughs with her cackling, witchy, and somewhat senile portrayal of Grandmama. Leanne Bernard also holds her own as Alice Beineke, Lucas’s too-sweet mother who, quite literally, lets her hair down in the second act. Little Ella John Dupree also adds to the fun by “warming the stage” as the infamous Cousin It.
As for the men, the main standouts are Anthony Angelico’s portrayal of the rigid, largely silent Lurch and Clay Boney’s creepy-but-sweet version of Uncle Fester. Gilbert also makes for a charming and likeable Lucas, and Chuck Moore is a very sweet, doting Gomez who shares excellent chemistry with his leading ladies.
This dark, funny show is a nice change from the usual musicals seen in the Triangle and the surrounding areas, and it’s very well done by this small theatre, making it well worth the trip to Dunn.
Harnett Regional Theatre presents THE ADDAMS FAMILY at 7:30 p.m. May 13 and 14 and 2:30 p.m. May 15 at Stewart Theater, 114 N. Wilson Ave., Dunn, North Carolina 28334.
TICKETS: $15 ($10 students up to age 18 and seniors 60+).
BOX OFFICE: 910-892-3282 or https://squareup.com/store/onlinehrt.
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The Addams Family (cartoons): http://www.charlesaddams.com/ (Tee & Charles Addams Foundation) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Addams_Family (Wikipedia).
Charles Addams (Westfield, NJ-born cartoonist, 1912-88): http://www.charlesaddams.com/ (Tee & Charles Addams Foundation), https://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/484646 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0011623/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Addams (Wikipedia).
The Addams Family (television show, 1964-66): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057729/ (Internet Movie Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Addams_Family_(TV_series) (Wikipedia).
The Addams Family (2010 Broadway musical): http://www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?ID=484631 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Addams_Family_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia).
Study Guide: http://www.theaddamsfamilymusical.com/StudyGuide.pdf (the Broadway musical’s official website).
Andrew Lippa (music and lyrics): http://andrewlippa.com/ (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/13451 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Lippa (Wikipedia).
Marshall Brickman (book): https://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/394782 (Internet Broadway Database) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Brickman (Wikipedia).
Rick Elice (book): https://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/394783 (Internet Broadway Database) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Elice (Wikipedia).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.