If you remember anything about the Addams Family, then undoubtedly you have seen or heard about their morbidesque view on life and love. Though it started as a cartoon series featured in The New Yorker in the 1930s it soon became a television series that aired in the 1960s. The success of this beloved wealthy yet off kilter family became a two part movie series starring the late Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester in the 1990s.
Undoubtedly fans from the show’s early days have had a hard time picking their favorite character – Wednesday, Pugsley, Morticia, Gomez, Grandmama, Lurch, Thing and Uncle Fester. And now this wildly funny family is on tour! That’s right if you want to have a great yet unsure if you’ll make it out alive time then seeing the Broadway musical production of the Addams Family is a sure bet.
From the opening scene to the closing you will be entertained with witty punch lines, great current event references and just a good time as you get to know this family. The Broadway musical seems to pick up from where the movie, Addams Family Values left off and now Wednesday Addams, the princess of darkness and torture, is grown up and in love with Lucas Beinekes, an oddly dark yet careful character. Afraid that her mother, Morticia will interfere in her plans to marry Lucas, Wednesday demands that Gomez keep her secret at all costs. The hilarity immediately ensues as Gomez battles his loyalty for the two most important women in his life.
Attendees seemed perplexed that Wednesday’s character, played by Cortney Wolfson, was cheerful and happy. As you know Wednesday’s character was always dark, even in the movies and didn’t emotionally budge when she had a crush in the movie. It was weird to see how delighted she was and how she frolicked around the stage talking about marriage and love. Eventually her character became a delight to watch because every woman in the audience seemed to remember her first time being in love.
Gomez, Douglas Sills, stole most of the scenes he was in. He was hilariously funny and offered some of the best lines in the show. He was proverbially caught between a rock and a hard place trying to keep his daughter’s secret from the love of his life. His abrasive charm towards his guests and family was on cue and had the audience reaching for tissue to wipe away the laughing tears. There was only one instance where it seemed he was about to lose his composure but rightfully so because he was hitting home runs with the jokes.
The standout character was Uncle Fester, Blake Hammond. Although his role seemed limited to narrative roles he was hilarious. There are scenes where he absolutely stole the show without hesitation or fail. And his unrealistic love affair with the moon should have reminded the audience of Ray the Lighten Bug’s love with the moon.
Morticia, Sara Gettelfinger, was confusing. Known as even tempered and reserved with her emotions, Gettelfinger delivered Morticia with emotions, too much at times. Not saying she did not do an excellent job, it was just not the Morticia from the series, although she was a mother upset with her husband keeping a secret and her daughter hiding her desires to marry.
The other cast members delivered excellent performances including Lurch, Zachary James, the dead/undead butler for the Addams household. He delivered a powerful solo performance at the end of the play that left the audience in awe. Patrick D. Kennedy’s portrayal of Pugsley was adorable as is the original character and Pippa Pearthree, Grandma was just as confused as they come. Mal (Martin Vidnovic) and Alice Beineke Gaelen Gilliland), parents of Lucas (Curtis Holbrook), were hilarious and inspiring that they re-energized their love life from the visit with the Addams.
The one thing that stood to ruin the experience of the Addams Family the Broadway Musical at the Music Hall at Fair Park is the parking situation. Currently the State Fair of Texas is happening and parking on the fairgrounds is $15 but that is not the issue. The issue is that the Dallas Summer Musicals and the State Fair coordinators may not have communicated where the will call box office is located and the parking permissions for play attendees. The experience of being denied parking after paying for parking because your tickets are at will call is unbearable. Then to tell the parking lot attendant that your tickets are at the will call and be driven past the will call box office to the opposite side of the building is insulting. To then be told to show your tickets to get park after they watch you come out of the ticket office with tickets in your hands is downright disrespectful. DSM should do a better job of informing ticket purchasers, particularly season ticket holders of the parking issues they will face while the play is in town, Oct. 2 through Oct, 21. Yet in still guests can use their tickets to go into the State Fair but after all of that who would want to?
Addams Family is a great and hilarious show that is highly recommended.