April 9, 2018
I’ll be frank with you. I wasn’t overly excited to sit through a two hour musical based on a comic, cartoon, TV show, and movie series, that I had no prior knowledge of or attachment to. The brief snippets I’d overheard from my family throughout the years about what the Addamses are like painted the picture of a grim, gothic, and overall monotonous and 2D family that would prance about the stage and discuss death, which, as you might assume, did not do much to pique my interest. Even so, I still bought a ticket, chose a seat close to the stage, and waited anxiously for the show to start, hoping for the best. And the best is exactly what I got.
The descriptions bestowed upon me by my family weren’t too far from the truth. The family is gothic and rather obsessed with death, but there is so much more to this musical than just its dark humor. For instance, the opening number, “When You’re an Addams”, shows Gomez (Lev Axler), a quirky father and husband welcoming generations of Addams since-deceased (the Ancestors) to join him and his family in doing the bunny hop. If the thought of a dozen ghosts hopping and prancing around the stage doesn’t seem funny, then I don’t know what does.
That being said, by the end of the first song I was pretty much sold on the musical. All traces of suspicion were gone in an instant. A very drastic change, I know.
In the following scenes, the audience really gets thrown headfirst into the plot. Wednesday (Carleigh Solomon/Alyk Moomaw), the Addams’ infamous daughter, reveals that she is in love with Lucas Beineke (Ezra Silver-Isenstadt), a preppy and seemingly average college student. She first confesses her feelings towards Lucas to Gomez since she was under the impression that her mother, Morticia (Ava Shapiro/Amelia Yasuda), would be less than welcoming to the idea. Despite his reservations at lying to his wife , he agrees to keep it a secret until after the Beinekes and Addamses meet each other at a dinner Wednesday is hosting that evening.
The dinner itself is a rather sensitive topic for the Addamses. Not ones who are overly fond of socializing, the family initially rejects the idea vehemently, much to Wednesday’s displeasure. Eventually, she sways them after promising that it would only be “one normal night”, and that the guests would be ready to leave by 9:30 and no later.
Despite the family’s best intentions, things don’t go according to how Wednesday planned. By the end of the act, all three relationships have been reduced to shambles after an intense game of Full Disclosure. It is a game in which the players drink from the sacred Addams Family chalice, then confess a secret they haven’t told anyone else. As one might expect, things did not end well for anyone involved, and when the curtains finally closed, the audience was left wondering what exactly would happen to the protagonists.
Of course, things ultimately ended up okay in the end, since it’s a dark comedy and not just a dark, angst-inducing musical. Act II focused on the couples reconnecting and rekindling their feelings for one another. Wednesday and Lucas’s make up, as well as Mel (Lucas’s father, played by Christian Maric) and Alice’s (Lucas’s mother, played by Grace Tyson) were shown through the catchy song “Crazier Than You”. The song is lighthearted, catchy, and is impossible not to dance along to.
Gomez had a bit of a harder time reconciling with Morticia, but after inviting her to dance the tango and surprising her with a trip to the worst hotel in Paris (a dream she has had for ages) she finds it in her to forgive him for lying to her about Wednesday’s feelings for Lucas.
The show ends on the day of Wednesday and Lucas’s wedding and to the heartfelt cheers of “Misery!” from the family.
Despite my initial reservations about the show, I did ultimately enjoy the experience far more than I expected I would. The songs are definitely worth checking out, and if you have the chance to see the musical at any point in time, I would highly recommend it.