Examiner.com went to see “The Addams Family,” the musical comedy, at Clowes Memorial Hall on Tuesday, its opening night, with very low expectations. Having seen the television series and the 1991 film version, this writer was hard pressed to imagine how it could play well as a musical. As it turned out, however, the show’s music was barely memorable, except for familiar TV series theme which featured two finger snaps. However, the musical's very funny dialogue, highly entertaining performances turned in by the superb cast and the production’s fine technical elements certainly were.
“The Addams Family,” with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, is based on the cartoons of Charles Addams, who created the characters representing a ghoulish family who have a fondness for all things morbid. In this musical version, the main storyline centers on the family’s reaction and the upheaval it causes when Wednesday, the daughter, falls in love with a “normal” boy.
The Indianapolis stop for this touring production of “The Addams Family” is the last for the company whose polish was reflected in the individual performances of those in primary roles and those in the ensemble as well.
Jennifer Fogarty was particularly impressive as rebellious Wednesday. Fogarty’s powerhouse voice was surprising considering that it emanated from someone so diminutive in size, but it was really quite awe-inspiring.
Amanda Bruton also stood out in her colorful characterization of wise, yet crude, Grandma. A scene with her grandson Pugsley in which she makes an entrance pulling a wagon stacked with bottles of potions and elixirs while singing Buffalo Springfield’s 1966 hit “Stop Children What’s That Sound” was a side-splitting show highlight.
Shaun Rice’s performance as charming Uncle Fester was also a crowd pleaser, especially during a scene when his character romances the Moon, his love interest, while he is suspended in mid-air by way of special effects.
As mentioned previously, the script dialogue, which was replete with hilarious one-liners such as "If you are going to be a tool, go sleep in the shed,” was the real star of the show.
The show’s set, which illustrated the interior Addams Family as well as other exterior locations, including one depicting Central Park with the New York City Skyline on backdrop, was simply divine.
There are only four performances left, two on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Give yourself and your family a treat. You won’t regret it.
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