Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It’s Family First and Family Last: A Night with the Addams.

Imagine a typical 1950s family living in a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. In this house lives a perfect mother who leaves a fresh baked apple pie on the window sill to cool off while a little boy feeds the dog before going out to play. Now imagine a large mansion in the middle of Central Park with a mother who rips off the heads of roses and asks her butler to put the stems in a vase while her son is busy feeding the monster that lives under his bed. This is where I spent my Tuesday night on May 8th, 2012. Welcome to a night with The Addams Family.

Photo by Jeremy Daniel, courtesy Ordway center for the Performing Arts
The premise of the show revolves around Wednesday Addams (Cortney Wolfson) growing up and falling in love with Lucas Beineke (Brian Justin Crum). She invites him and his family dinner with her family. As the lights went low and last minute audience members found their seats I began to smile as the orchestra started the “The Addams Family” theme song. Even the audience participated with nostalgic snapping until the theme song brilliantly transitioned into the overture. I began laughing again as the disembodied hand “The Thing” appeared to pull the curtain back to reveal a very tall gate with all of the Addams behind it while smoke trailed at their feet. It was amazing and eerie all at the same time. They looked fantastic and still held the same Addams Family look with Morticia’s (Sara Gettelfinger) low cut neckline (in which her cleavage upstaged multiple moments), Grandma’s (Pippa Pearthree) crazy personality and Gomez’s (Douglas Stills) infamous thin mustache.

It wasn’t until Wednesday sang her first song “Pulled” that I realized how extremely impressive the vocals sounded. She was on perfect pitch every time she opened her mouth. With every scene she was in I seemed to find myself entirely focused on her. The dry humor, killer belts and impressive dance moves had me...that is until Alice Beineke (Crista Moore) arrived on the scene. Her obsessive rhyming and bright yellow dress made her the top scene stealer of the show. During a hilarious dinner scene, she breaks out into “Waiting” a powerhouse solo song. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Her impressive belt had me on the edge of my seat the whole rest of the show, praying she’d do it again.

Overall “The Addams Family: The Musical” was quite delightful. The costumes were wonderful, the set was spectacular and the actors were phenomenal. My expectations were far exceeded with the entire cast. The score and book do a radiant job in keeping the same ghoulish atmosphere while still maintaining a musical type feel. All families, whether you’re “living, dead or undecided” should rush to see this show no matter how far away it is!

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