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The national tour of the new musical THE ADDAMS FAMILY, based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, made its Orange County premiere on December 18 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts as part of the Broadway Series.
For fans of the TV show or movies, everything you love about the Addams Family is presented onstage.
Through the course of the show, audiences are introduced to a new story line involving the famous family. Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, and Cousin It are all here along with Thing, Lurch and a new set of characters including a “normal” family from Ohio, The Beineke’s. As touching as it funny, the show revolves around the family hiding Wednesday’s (Cortney Wolfson) upcoming marriage to Lucas Beineke (Curtis Holbrook) from her mother. But things go wrong when one of Grandma’s (Pippa Pearthree) potions mistakenly ends up causing a bit of chaos, as well as, Gomez who has never lied or hid anything from Morticia before.
Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (co-writers of Jersey Boys) have crafted a book that includes snappy, witty dialogue that brings the family into a modern context. At one point Grandma quips to Pugsley (Patrick D. Kennedy) when he doesn’t know who Medea is, “Stop the damn texting and pick up a book once in a while.” Lippa’s lyrics also use contemporary events to create humor. In Uncle Fester’s (Blake Hammond) song “But Love” he comments, “Was rehab right for Charlie Sheen? Who’s to say?”
Musically the show bounces through several genres. Gomez’s music, for instance, has a more Spanish feel to it, complementing his character’s heritage. On the other hand, Uncle Fester has a more playful vaudevillian style which the audience seemed to love.
Broadway veteran and Tony Award nominee Douglas Sills excels in the role of Gomez. Debonaire as much as playful, he displays a likable and empathic character that doesn’t try to emulate other interpretations of the role. As Morticia (Sara Gettelfinger) creates a delightfully morbid character. Her deadpan looks and stoic demeanor play well against Sill’s jovial Gomez.
The show’s set by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott, along with the puppetry by Basil Twist, add to the show’s mystique. The special effects, which are mostly puppetry, are highlights of the show, especially the appearances of Cousin It.
Both Blake Hammond as Uncle Fester and Gaelen Gilliland as Alice Beineke, the fiancée’s mother, have show-stopping numbers that the audience enjoys. Hammond’s quirky “The Moon and Me” (with clever special effects) and Gilliland’s “Waiting” are two of the most memorable moments of the show.
Like the Broadway version, the touring show continues to pack houses and delight audiences. Overall, the show is enjoyable and lighthearted. This musical has emotional and dramatic depth, with its humor and charm.
Full of fun and laughs, The Addams Family is playing at Segerstrom Center for the Arts until December 30. Tickets are available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The TTY number is (714) 556-2746. The 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, December 29 will include audio description, open captioning and sign-language interpretation.
The show’s run time is approximately two and a half hours with one intermission.