The Addams Family | The Muny

Addams-Family 75The acting was excellent and the cast kept the audience laughing despite the creepy themes of death and darkness.

Addams-Family 500

Last year’s Muny season saw actor Rob McClure bring down the house as Lord Farquaad in “Shrek” and dazzle as Bert in “Mary Poppins.” The chemistry that made Poppins so successful in 2013 is back with McClure starring as Gomez Addams and Jenny Powers, who played the titular Mary Poppins, as Morticia Addams in “The Addams Family.” These two actors clearly have a blast together on stage and their enthusiasm is infectious. Simply put, “The Addams Family” is a really fun show. The stage is set immediately when the lights come up on the cast posing in that classic formation that immediately brings to mind Addams Family cartoons, TV shows, and movies. Then, of course, the snapping begins.

All of the Addams favorites are there: Uncle Fester, played by Steve Rosen, who brought a perfect mixture of kookiness and tenderness to this character; Grandma, played by Jen Cody, who had the audience hooting with her interesting confessions during a game of Full Disclosure; Lurch, played by William Ryall, who looks every inch the part and finally gets to shine at the end of the show; and little brother Pugsley, played by Michael Harp, whose singing voice was spectacular and almost betrayed the creepiness of this boy.

Finally, we have Wednesday, whose romance makes up the bulk of the plot. Wednesday, played by Sara Kapner, has fallen in love with a “normal” boy named Lucas Beineke, played by Dan Deluca. The two are planning to marry, but first have to survive an important family dinner that brings the Ohio Beinekes to the Addams’ abode in Central Park. Wednesday has told Gomez about the impending nuptials but asked him to keep it a secret from Morticia, putting him in quite the bind. He has some funny moments singing to the audience about this dilemma, until Morticia ultimately stops him by saying, “You know I can hear you when you do that…” It’s the silly moments that make this show shine. The dancing is perfectly executed and the costumes do well to make us understand certain characters, especially Lucas’ parents Mal Beineke, played by John Scherer and Alice Beineke, played by Hollis Resnik. Alice has a powerful solo at the end of act one, during which the audience learns that her life is not quite as cheery and sunny as her yellow flowered dress. Mal gets his time to shine after he acquiesces to Alice’s demands put forth at the end of act one and loosens up a little bit.

Act two sees the Addams and the Beinekes trying to figure out how their children’s impending nuptials might end up and also gives the audience more insight into a second love story. We learn that Uncle Fester is in love…with the moon. The Muny video screen, which debuted in 2012, helps Fester’s relationship blossom as he uses his high, warbly voice to serenade Earth’s natural satellite. It’s this number, as well as his interaction with the audience and the supporting cast, Addams family ancestors from the crypt, that make Uncle Fester one of the clear stars of this show. Steve Rosen is excellent in this role.

The Addams Family was extremely enjoyable. The acting was excellent and the cast kept the audience laughing despite the creepy themes of death and darkness. Go see it at The Muny through July 20 at 8:15pm. For ticket information, visit http://muny.org/shows/the-addams-family. | Emily Scharf

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