Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review of The Addams Family at the Mercury Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Addams Family. It was directed by L. Walter Stearns. The musical director was Eugene Dizon and the choreographer was Brenda Didier. The book was by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and the music and lyrics were by Andrew Lippa. This show is about a girl names Wednesday Addams (Dara Cameron) who has fallen in love with a boy from Ohio named Lucas (Henry McGinnis). But her brother Pugsley (Brennan Dougherty), her mother Morticia (Rebecca Prescott) and her father Gomez (Karl Hamilton) are not super keen on that idea. And Lucas's parents, Alice (Cory Goodrich) and Mal (Jason Grimm), were also not very happy about it. So then they are going to have a dinner so Wednesday and her future husband can tell their parents that they are getting married. Will love find a way? Uncle Fester (Harter Clingman) thinks it will. He and his team of skeleton ancestor people (Sarah Hayes, Leah Morrow, Jared Rein, Sawyer Smith, Alexander Walker, Lucy Zukaitis) will metaphorically punch the hate in the face and throw it in the water. I thought this show was super fun and spooky. I didn't think that the writing was perfect, but the show was still great because the actors were so good and the dancing and singing were so fantastic.

The Addams family is a very strange family. They are all basically monsters or are maniacs and love murder and death. It seemed like the parents loved each other very much, but the thing is they were so in love with each other that sometimes even the audience felt a little awkward because Gomez and Morticia were dipping each other and tangoing and kissing each other whenever they wanted in public. But you still want their relationship to work because they seemed so in love. I think Gomez seemed very insane and strange but then he also seemed slightly normal because he was one of the only people who didn't have a special power. His singing was really good. When he was singing about this not being the day Morticia leaves him, he sounded like an male opera singer. The grandma (Amanda Hartley) and Pugsley had a very strange relationship because they kind of hated each other, but then they were like, "Oh you are so sweet; I love you" right afterwards. And no one really knew whose mother she was. Wednesday and her fiancé loved each other but they were very different. But they also had some things that they were similar in, which you find out in the song "Crazier Than You." That song is basically about having a competition with the person you love about who is the craziest, which I think is kind of a strange competition to have. Of course, they are the Addams family, so of course they have competitions about being crazier than the other person.

Lucas is a very nerdy boy. He wore brightly colored ties and all that kind of stuff. I thought that the costumes (by Frances Maggio) overall were really cool. Lucas seemed kind of completely imperfect for Wednesday because he loved bright colors and he was happy all the time. But he wasn't, really, because once you get to know the character better you see he is like her because he wants to be a doctor so he can see inside people's bodies, and that means he is also kind of creepy himself. His parents both were regular people who do regular things except they both love rock and roll and don't want to show it. But Alice turns into sort of a maniac and I thought the actress was very good at being completely insane and kind of scary and ridiculous when she turned into that crazy woman.

I loved the butler, Lurch (Jeff Diebold). He is probably one of the most lovable characters I have ever seen on stage because he was just so cute. He couldn't really speak in human language; he just spoke in grunts because he was a zombie/Frankenstein. My favorite scene was when Alice and Mal Beineke came in and the butler opened the door and he started talking just in grunts. And he just grunted this entire heartbreaking story about something exploding, I think. That scene was so funny. When his eyes just grew wide and he made these exploding gestures like it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, I just cracked up so hard I couldn't breathe. He was so good. This character reminded me a lot of Groot, who is another of the cutest and funniest and best characters ever created. I also really liked the fencing scene where Gomez was doing this elaborate sword fighting and Lurch was just moving slightly back and forth with his wrist--and he still won!

Uncle Fester was in love with the Moon, which I thought was very funny. He had this entire song to the moon. The song was a love song that sounded like it was from the 1900s. And I really loved the skeleton costumes; they were like black and white 1900s swimsuits. They were very fashionable and I want one for myself! Fester wore a striped swimsuit that is like a one-piece bathing suit. That was funny because he burst out of his jacket and everyone started laughing. I loved the song he sang to the moon, because it was just such a ridiculous song and the moon was just bouncing around and he would throw it into the audience and it was just so funny. I think he loved the moon so much because he kind of looked like a moon himself. Uncle Fester was a good character to narrate because he is a very recognizable character. He has the bald head, he has the strange coat and he is so odd. And when you have an odd person as the narrator you think about the family from a different perspective. If you just had a narrator or Alice was the narrator you'd think, "They basically see it like we do."

People who would like this show are people who like love songs to moons, heartbreaking grunting stories, and elaborate fencing. I had so much fun at this show. It made me laugh so hard. I loved it!

Photos: Brett A. Beiner

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