Regional Reviews: San Francisco
The Addams Family
San Jose Stage Company wraps up its 32nd season with the kooky and spooky musical The Addams Family, by Andrew Lippa, Rick Elice, Marshall Brickman. This wickedly entertaining musical comedy has been making the rounds in the Bay Area during this past season. The great cast, under the direction of Tom Kelly, brings to life to this weird and treasured family.
Andrew Lippa's music is very buoyant and harmonious while the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice stays close to the old television series with contemporary and exaggerated campy zingers. Gomez and Morticia's daughter Wednesday is now grown up and in love with a "normal" young man Lucas Beineke. His parents are coming to dinner and the entire Addams household is in an uproar over the impending meeting with a "normal" family.
Johnny Moreno and Allison F. Rich are outstanding in the roles of as Gomez and Morticia, the eccentric Addams patriarch and his wife. The comic timing with which Moreno delivers his lines is extremely accurate. He sports the same accent that John Astin used in the television series. He also has a rich, powerful voice singing the songs in this fun musical. Allison F. Rich beautifully underplays the role of Morticia and has impressive vocal chops singing her songs. Their dance moves in the tango number "Tango de Amor" are impeccable.
D. Scott McQuiston rocks as Uncle Fester, taking on the manner and voice of Jackie Coogan from the original series. He steals the show with his song "The Moon and Me" in which he beautifully dances with a large paper lantern representing the moon. Courtney Hatcher gives a splendid performance as the morose teenager Wednesday. She has a sparkling voice singing "Pulled." Zac Schulman successfully captures the role of Pugsley. With a deviously sweet voice he rhythmically introduces the audience to his numerous vices of torture. Donna Federico is hilarious with her wild antics as Grandma Addams. Will Springhorn Jr. is whimsical as Lurch, the family's zombie butler. Without uttering a single word he brings the audience to hysterical bouts of laughter between his zombie shuffling and his elusive facial expressions.
The Beineke family is the epitome of "normal." Jeffrey Brian Addams is the perfect Lucas. His pitch perfect voice makes a fine vocal accessory to Courtney Hatcher, especially in their duet "Crazier Than You." Luke's parents Mal and Alice are given great portrayals by Edward Hightower and Elise Youssef. Edward Hightower plays the role as an up-tight Republican, but then he lets loose in the second act and with his astonishing voice with raising octaves singing the "Crazier than You" reprise, while Elise Youssef with her stunning voice joins in the duet.
The chorus of Addams ancestors under the choreography of Brett Blankenship and Carmichael "CJ" Blankenship with costumes by Abra Berman permeates eclectic style executed with challenging accuracy. Dance styles range from tango to modern. In the "Secrets" number Nichole Frydman, Adrienne Herro, and Brittney Monroe do some great high kicks and hip-swiveling. Their male counterparts C.J. Blankenship, Brian Herndon, and Jordan Sidfield are no slouches when it comes to dance, particularly Jordan Sidfield who is a fabulous dancer.
Directed by Tony Kelly with music direction by Allison F. Rich, this charming, feel-good family musical is a marvelous success and a fun experience.
The Addams Family runs through July 26th, 2015, at the San Jose Stage, 490 South First Street, San Jose For tickets call 408-283-7142 or on visit www.thestage.org.