HHS Theater puts on the scary-good musical “The Addams Family”

The cast of

by Julia Spano

The cast of "The Addams Family" sing their hearts out.

Julia Spano, World Views editor

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The adjectives “creepy”, “spooky”, and “altogether ooky” may not seem to fit in with your average musical. But even though a streak of dark humor pervades its script, The Addams Family Musical provided five nights of (mostly) family-friendly entertainment for Hillsborough’s theater-going residents.

Set ten years after the original 1960’s TV show, the production centers around the grown oldest child of the Addams clan, Wednesday. She’s fallen in love with a “normal” boy, Lucas, and confides in her father– the boisterously morbid, but slightly cowardly, Gomez– that she wants to marry him. However, she wants to hold off on telling her skeptical mother Morticia until she’s sure that her demented, death-obsessed family and her love interests’s aggressively normal parents get along. Miscommunications, medieval torture devices, marriage drama, grandmothers locked in closets, a romance involving the family’s Uncle Fester and the moon (yes, the celestial object), and a greek choir of zombies ensues. A typical night at Hillsborough High School, if you think about it.

What really brought the show to life, however, were the performances of the “parents” Gomez and Morticia Addams. Brandon Luckenbough pulled off Gomez’s dramatic mannerisms and thick Transylvanian (Spanish?) accent with aplomb, making the entire audience break down with laughter several times. His foil was the elegant, sarcastic Merissa Joji as Morticia Addams. Her deadpan number “Death is Just Around The Corner” was aided by a chorus line of ghouls, but it was her voice that held the audience’s attention. Other standouts were Sydney Goldstein as Lucas’s in-denial mother Alice and Jason Spinrad as an all-knowing, romantically disturbed Uncle Fester (accompanied by a chorus of ghouls).

But just as excellent as the actors was the stage presentation itself. The costumes, particularly Uncle Fester’s Greek chorus of ghouls, were universally excellent. And as strange as it may sound, the lighting– particularly when it changed to reflect the character’s soliliquies — added a lot of character to the show. The original show apparently had a lot of other bells and whistles, such as a giant squid; this production left some of those details out, but still had more than enough glitz and glam to add to the camp-horror atmosphere.

“I think that the cast and crew did a great job with the budget they were given,” junior Jessica Ma said. “The play was definitely…. different, but still well done.”

The audience, snapping their fingers to the famous Addams Family theme song, agreed whole-heartedly.

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