Theatre Mirror Reviews - "THE ADDAMS FAMILY"

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Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone



”THE ADDAMS FAMILY”

Reviewed by Tony Annicone



Case High School Theatre's fall production is "The Addams Family", a musical which ran on Broadway for 722 performances and is a sentimental tribute to Charles Addams' beloved characters. This macabre tale explores the deliciously dark world of Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Lurch, Thing and Cousin It. This weird and wonderful family is every father's nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the princess of darkness, has grown up, fallen in love with a sweet, smart man from a respectable family, a man her parents have never met. And if that weren't upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now Gomez must do something he has never done before, keep a secret from his wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the family on that fateful night they host dinner for Wednesday and her "normal" boyfriend and his parents. Directors Neil Jeronimo and Hailey O'Connor bring out the comic and macabre moments in this show while Neil and Patricia Rodrigues provide the clever and intricate dance steps. Musical direction is by Kasey Jeronimo and Amy Hubbard and together they create a marvelous musical that the entire family can enjoy and savor. Their talented cast wins a standing ovation as its reward on a job very well done.

Neil and Hailey block and direct their enormous cast excellently. The dance numbers by Neil and Tricia include the twist, the swim, the bunny hop, line dancing and tango and are excellently executed by this young and energetic cast. The musical numbers under Kasey and Amy's direction also stand out. Some topnotch group musical numbers include "When You're an Addams" with their dead ancestors coming back to life and wins thunderous applause, "Full Disclosure", a parlor game where secrets are revealed in an hilarious manner, (this song sounds like "Both Reached for the Gun" from "Chicago") and "Move Towards the Darkness" where they sing about becoming a united family again. The well known TV song is used in this show with the audience singing and clapping along with it. Kasey taught the songs to the cast while Amy conduct and lead an astounding 10 piece orchestra especially excellent is Michael Coelho on the violin during Happy/Sad song.

Leading this cast as Gomez is Derek Alexander who commands the stage in this role. He handles the comic moments wonderfully. He has a topnotch baritone voice and Spanish accent. All of Gomez's songs have a Latin flair to them. He sings "Trapped" when he feels badly about keeping a secret from his beloved wife and "Happy/Sad" where he's happy his daughter found the man of her dreams but is also sad that he is losing her, an emotionally draining number that he sings to Wednesday which brings tears to your eyes. He also sings "To Live Before We Die" when he reconciles with his wife. A standout number is "Tango De'Amour" between Gomez and Morticia when his family reunites and they all dance the tango together. Casey Frazier plays Morticia wonderfully. She displays her vocal skills in "Secrets" where she shares her innermost ones with Lucas' mother and in "Just Around the Corner" where she believes her family doesn't need her anymore but then it turns into an energetic dance with the ancestors. They do a soft shoe and a kickline to it. The show stopping duet is "Live Before You Die" between Gomez and Morticia where he confesses his undying love to her.

The rest of the cast is as talented as the two leading players. Tyler Tavares gives Wednesday the backbone to stand up for what she believes in. She takes nonsense from no one at all. Her strong voice is heard in "Pulled" where Wednesday must decide whether to continue to torture Pugsley or being in love with Lucas and in "Crazier Than You" where she and Lucas argue who has the wackier family and when she finally wins the man of her dreams. Nathaniel Leboeuf plays the normal Lucas with flair and panache. His acting is splendid as this boy who finally lets his hair down when he allows Wednesday to shoot an apple off his head. His voice is heard in "Crazier Than You." The biggest scene stealer is Eddie Plante as the wild and crazy Uncle Fester. He strums a ukulele and sings "But Love" with the ancestors and "The Moon and Me" where he dances with the female ancestors as he sings of his love for the moon. They throw giant white balls to each other.

Another scene stealer is Julia Morin as Grandma. Her comic antics and one liners are marvelous. The audience learns she likes to smoke a joint in her room and nobody knows who's mother she is. One of her funniest lines is when she threatens Pugsley telling him if he touches her stash that she'll rip his leg off. Ben DiLeonardo plays Pugsley wonderfully. His mischief making causes a dire predicament at the end of Act 1. He displays his voice in "What If?" as he contemplates losing his sister to her boyfriend. Nolan McKenzie has many funny moments as Lurch but he stops the show with his powerful voice in the closing song of the show. Playing the "normal" parents are Billy Brodeur and Makenna Beaudoin as Mal and Alice Beinke who might not be so normal after all. Mal wants his son to marry Wednesday while Alice spouts poetry until she is given a potion to drink which brings out her dark side. She stops the show with her solo section in "Full Disclosure" as her voice soars off the charts. Kudos to the whole cast and crew for doing a terrific job on this musical. So for a fun filled trip back to the mysterious and kooky world of this family, be sure to catch "The Addams Family" before Uncle Fester blasts off to the moon. Tell them Tony sent you.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (29 & 30 October)
Case High School Theatre Company, Joseph Case High School, 70 School St, Swansea, MA
1(508)675-7483 or casetheatretickets@gmail.com




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