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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


The Addams Family

Also see John's review of Lombardi

The Addams Family
Patrick D. Kennedy, Pippa Pearthree, Sara Gettelfinger, Douglas Sills, Tom Corbeil, Courtney Wolfson and Blake Hammond
Kravis on Broadway, with sponsors Harris Private Bank and Bianca & Miranda Matthews, and producers Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt, Five Cent Productions, Stuart Ditsky/Adam Ditsky, Stephen and Mary Jo Schuler, Eva Price, James L. Nederlander, Stephanie P. McClelland, Pittsburgh CLO/Gutterman/Deitch, Vivek Tiwary/Jamie deRoy/Carl Mollenberg and Mary Lu Roffe, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical present the new musical comedy The Addams Family at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The musical features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.

The Addams family is based upon characters created by Charles Addams in his single-panel gag cartoons published in The New Yorker magazine. In a prolific career spanning six decades, Addams created several thousand cartoons, sketches and drawings. But it was his creation of the ghoulish characters that came to be known as "The Addams Family" that brought Addams his greatest acclaim. His unique style combined the twisted and macabre with charm and wit.

The Addams Family features an original story that is every father's nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren't upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he's never done before—keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday's unassumingly normal boyfriend and his parents.

Douglas Sills as has a quick sense of humor and a ready laugh as Gomez. Though he exhibits the quirks that make him an Addams, he portrays the father and husband with aspects of the character that make him an "every man" quite well. This makes him all the more likable, and his quirks even funnier. Sara Gettelfinger is less successful as Morticia. She possesses an undeniable sensual melancholy as Morticia, but is devoid of the least mischievous twinkle in her eye or trace of a secret smile that would make her Morticia mysterious and desirable. She just comes off dark and bitter. She also swoops up to her high notes in a throaty and flat sound that is unattractive to the ear. While her song "Just Around The Corner" is built for laughs, she squashes them with her sternness.

In the midst of zany Addams antics, Courtney Wolfson as Wednesday emerges as a compelling singer and actress in songs such as "Pulled" and "Crazier Than You." Crista Moore is a bit disappointing as the mother of the groom-to-be Alice Beineke. She needs to up her stakes, and make her acting choices at the beginning more perky and repressed, and those at the end more direct and dominant for the evolution of the character to be clearer. This should be a funnier role. The opportunities are all there. The part of her husband Mel is written to be bland, so she needs to be a more comedic partner with actor Martin Vidnovic.

Blake Hammond takes full advantage of the humorous moments built into the role of Uncle Fester, clearly having great fun in the best number in the show, "The Moon And Me." It stands out because of its special effects. One wishes there were more of them in this show. To be frank, the technical aspects of The Addams Family (set, props, lighting) are creatively underwhelming. The Addams estate could and should be filled with creepy artifacts that move, hidden doorways, animated set pieces, bizarre torture devices, etc.. The audience deservedly expects these to be in more than just a couple of places in the show. It puts this production in the category of being just so-so.

The Addams Family appeared November 8 - 13, 2011, on the Marden Stage of Dreyfoos Hall, in the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is located at 701 Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Florida. For tickets and/or information on their season, you may contact them by phone at 561-832-7469 (561-832-SHOW) or 1-800-572-8471 (1-800-KRAVIS-1), or online at www.kravis.org. For more information on the tour, visit www.theaddamsfamilymusicaltour.com.

The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality; by offering comprehensive arts education programs; by providing a Palm Beach County home in which local and regional arts organizations can showcase their work; and by providing economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County.

Cast:
Gomez Addams: Douglas Sills
Morticia Addams: Sara Gettelfinger
Uncle Fester: Blake Hammond
Grandma: Pippa Pearthree
Wednesday Addams: Courtney Wolfson
Pugsley Addams: Patrick D. Kennedy
Lurch: Tom Corbeil
Mel Beineke: Martin Vidnovic
Alice Beineke: Crista Moore
Lucas Beineke: Brian Justin Crum
The Addams Ancestors: Ted Ely, Karla Puno Garcia, Steve geary, Patrick Oliver Jones, Lizzie Klemperer, Christy Morton, Rebecca Riker, Roland Rusinek, Geo Seery, Samantha Shafer

Crew:
Direction/ Scenic Design/Costume Design: Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch
Musical Director: Valerie Gelbert
Choreography: Sergio Trujillo
Lighting Design: Natasha Katz
Sound Design: Acme Sound Partners
Hair Design: Tom Watson
Make-up Design: Angelina Avalone
Puppetry: Basil Twist
Special Effects: Gregory Meeh

The actors and stage managers in this production are members of Actors' Equity Association, the union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


Photo: Jeremy Daniel


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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