Friday’s opening night of The Addams Family saw a full, boisterous house that simply could not get enough of this eclectic, dark and crazy world of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Wednesday and their entire ghoulish clan. From the knockout performances by the stellar cast to the smashing make-up and costumes to the special effects and gorgeous set, this production is a feast for the senses!
We meet, where else? In a graveyard as the Addams Family are literally dancing on the graves of their ancestors and summoning them to play. We’ve got Addams from the fifties to the wild west, from a conquistador to a caveman, who hover around the family giving advice and lending support. Wednesday Addams has fallen in love with (gasp!) a normal boy from Ohio! But who exactly is this boy and is he worthy of their beloved Wednesday? All is soon to be revealed as the two families collide for one insane evening at the Addams’ mansion involving games, deceit, and a magic elixir. Trust will be broken, love will be tested and lives changed in unexpected ways.
Nick Hoffa’s taut direction keeps the action moving and he once again gathers just the right group of actors, all playing to their formidable strengths. Leading this crew is Adam Fagenson who plays the patriarch with great panache and a melodious tenor that grabs your heart, as he does in “Happy and Sad”, a father’s lament on letting his daughter go. His partner in crime is Lindsey Calva, clearly having the time of her life as a sultry, fearless Morticia. Calva and the terrific ensemble in “Just Around The Corner” is one of the many highlights.
Gomez and Wednesday have tender moments and Rose McCollough’s feisty performance makes for a dynamic father/daughter relationship. Mateo Diez brings a terrific voice, easy charm and undeniable charisma to Lucas, the object of Wednesday’s affection. He finds both the comedic and genuine moments that make the audience root for the couple. Another highlight is the inspired performance of Sydney Davis-Denny as little brother Pugsley. Davis-Denny is hysterical and breaks your heart.
Miles Mendoza is perfect as Lucas’ uptight, curmudgeon father. It’s fun to see the effects the Addams experience has on him and Mendoza nails it. As his sweet, poetry loving wife, Alice, Cole Fox is hilarious and brings the house down when she lets loose in her big number “Waiting”. Gramma Addams is played with salt and sass by the irrepressible Lucy Eller who makes a fantastic comedic duo with Anders Keith’s quirky, loveable Uncle Fester. Keith’s gleeful performance glues the whole thing together operating somewhat as our guide through this wacky adventure while Lurch, a zombified Jackson Monical, brings a surprise.
The entire ensemble is fantastic, with each playing a specific Addams ancestor. They boldly go for it, adding texture to every scene and bring the terrific Courtney Cheyne choreography to life. They sound great too thanks to the musical direction by Lia Donovan and the innovative James Jontz set beautifully creates the Addams Family world.
Be sure to catch this show at South Pasadena High School. Spend a high octane, entertaining evening full of fanciful, offbeat romance that in the end is all about “family first and family last and family by and by.”
The Addams Family continues for two more performances. Saturday April 21 at 7pm and Sunday April 22 at 2pm. $15 at the door. $10 children under 12. Box office opens a half hour before showtime.