The Addams Family musical utilizes the characters we know and love while spinning them round in a new story. The kids are grown up, and in a plot for modern audiences, everyone is forlorn and falling in and out of love. A loose narrative with a catchy score sometimes leaves you questioning the throughline, but there’s enough matter in the meat to keep you engaged. Jokes span the spectrum with a handful of effective and ineffective one liners (at least for our audience) that require you to pay close attention between the giggles and guffaws. There’s plenty of familiar character quirks and new surprises which will entertain Addams Family purists and newbies alike.
The cast was well equipped with a smattering of solid and spectacular performances. Kendra Lodewyk as Wednesday stole the evening, demonstrating acting chops that complement her miraculous voice. Her rendition of “Pulled”, one of the most popular musical theatre melodies of the decade, is worth the price of admission alone. Brooke Gomez as Morticia effectively navigated the cold and calculated matriarch without making her unlikable. Steven P. Holty harnessed strong vocals as the iconic Gomez. Marci Rogers’ Alice Beineke, an unfamiliar character to the original Addams Family narrative, owns the stage with a performance reminiscent to Melissa McCarthy (whom I love). Sam Nowak holds his own with impressive vocals and equal investment as Lucas, the love interest for Wednesday.
The Addams Family is a deceivingly difficult musical, but the company proved up to the challenge. Most of the effective comedic moments come from physical bits and sight gags, which earns kudos for Adam Gardner-Northrop’s solid direction. Jeanna Peglow’s choreography was simple, so the sequencing of movement in most songs often lacked the same spectacle the rest of the production enjoys. Evan Lewis’ scenic element held just the right amount of spectacle with a fully utilized two-story set on Midland’s forty foot turntable. Sarah Constable’s costumes did not resemble the iconic looks of the original Addams Family, but showcased creativity and impressive execution. JR Bornemann’s lighting design was used to great effect adding depth and texture to an already impressive scenic design, but Sara Taylor’s orchestra held their own, but does require some more finesse working with the cast. I believe the score is the most difficult element of the production - requiring high end musicians both onstage and in the pit. I’m confident the opening night jitters will be worked out by the end of the run. Special kudos to the projection design necessary for any production of The Addams Family, where the Moon is a supporting character..
There are some jokes and costume choices that make this a PG13 production. That being said, for any families on the fence, the performances and spectacle of this production should inspire a child’s imagination to run wild. The Addams Family runs through October 28th and tickets should ONLY be purchased through the MCFTA box office or website.
The Addams Family runs for the last three weekends of October at Midland Center for the Arts. Ticket prices, not including processing fees are $28 Adult / $21 Student, and can be purchased online or at the ticket office in person or over the phone at 989-631-8250 or 800-523-7649.