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'The Addams Family' Tickles Funny Bone and Touches Heart

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The Addams Family musical comedy

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Rats, spiders and cockroaches are all a little creepy, much like the Addams Family; but despite their spooky nature, each of the species contains a heart. ‘The Addams Family’ a new musical comedy that’s at the Schuster Center through March 10 is a success because at the center of the darkness that surrounds them is a big heart. It might be a bit of a scary thought, but in reality, ‘The Addams Family,’ isn’t very different from your own relatives.

Their methods are often unique, as torture devices are prevalent in their massive home, but the Addams Family holds a traditional love for each other. The central plot of the show is Gomez and Morticia must deal with the news that their daughter, Wednesday, is getting married. The news effects the family in many ways, including Pugsley, whose heartbroken that his sister won’t be around to make him suffer anymore.

A main reason that ‘The Addams Family’ excels is its extremely superb cast. It can be a little daunting to portray characters that are so well known from television and movies, but the challenge is not only met, it’s conquered. A masterful performance is given by Jesse Sharp as Gomez, who perfectly personifies the patriarch. His voice, as well as his comedic timing and stage presence are always right on target.

His talents are equally matched by the sinfully divine Lexie Dorsett as Morticia. I must confess that I should probably only write a partial review because my focus was elsewhere for portions of the show due to Dorsett’s stunning beauty in the dress she wears. Elvira who? She may be deathly pale, but still shines bright. Furthermore, her dance skills are also on display to admire.
An element of the television series that I fondly remember is the passion shared between Gomez & Morticia, and its translated onto the stage.

Though rather small in stature, Jennifer Fogarty as Wednesday, proves herself to be a heavyweight, especially with her rendition of ‘Pulled.’ In my opinion, it’s the vocal highlight, delivered with raw emotion. Her gothic like looks is also strangely appealing. Like when shooting her crossbow, Wednesday hit’s the bull’s-eye in every aspect of her performance.

All that Wednesday wants is for her family to appear normal when they meet the parents of her beloved, Lucas Beineke (Bryan Welnicki). Her pending nuptials may depend on it. A large amount of the shows laughs revolve around the Addams’ attempts to be common folk. If you think having a drunk uncle to hide is bad, try having Uncle Fester (Shaun Rice) who always provides a spark of light.

The Beineke’s; Mal (Mark Poppleton) & Alice (Blair Anderson) are models of normalcy. She likes to speaks in rhyme, he’s grown dull over time. Will their marriage ever be the same? After what’s revealed while playing a game. Find out in act number two. Don’t miss it, or you’ll boo-hoo-hoo…..By the way, her rhymes are better than mine. (Hey, that’s a good one)

A game of ’Full Disclosure’ over dinner sends everyone into chaos with Pugsley (Sam Primack/Jeremy Todd Shinder) being partly to blame. Pugsley is saddened by the thought of his sister leaving him behind and the sentiment is touchingly expressed with his singing of ‘What If.’

Not to be forgotten is Grandma (Amanda Bruton) who has the potion for a lot of one liners and Lurch (Dan Olson), a fan favorite, whose impact is deep. There’s also the Ancestors who contribute some exceptional dance moves.

The special effects are impressive when Uncle Fester shares a personal moment with the moon during ‘The Moon and Me.’ He gravitates up into the sky for the heart touching scene.

‘The Addams Family’ contains many laughs, but is mixed with a surprisingly sweet love story.
It will not only tickle your funny bone, but also pull at your heart strings. No matter how we look, act or live, we are all part of a family and can relate to the ‘The Addams Family.’

‘The Addams Family’ continues through March 10. Visit www.ticketcenterstage.com to reserve your tickets.

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