The Fulton Opera House’s production of The Addams Family was truly creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky. Opening for the 2015-2016 season, this performance included everything one might expect to join the macabre ideals of the Addams’ and more. Continuing the chronology of the family, the storyline leads the audience to see just how close the family is as a unit while learning to integrate with the societal realms of normalcy, which they are so oppositional to.
As Wednesday Addams has grown into a young adult, she is faced with the challenges of love and her desires lead to a temporary unraveling of the family to reiterate what their values mean and how they stay together.
Impressively including all the characters we as the audience have come to, the cast members did a phenomenal job in their roles. Gomez Addams, played by Jeremiah James, portrayed his Latino passion with Morticia Addams while allowing the eccentricity of his character to flow through with apparent ease. Wednesday Addams happily tortured her brother Pugsley, played by Owen Roberts Middle School’s eighth grader Liam Keenan, showing how they remained close with each other through their development. Even Lurch was present, holding a box, which cleverly was the base for “Thing”, the spasmodic and helpful hand whom we appreciated for its oddity and utilitarian presence.
At the play’s start and end, the audience was able to participate in clapping along with the theme song in excited agreement that they were very much “all together ooky.” Another aspect of this musical comedy was that despite the negative events, which faced the family and their integrated characters, they all were made to face themselves and their appreciation for life’s timing.
This was heavily facilitated through the character of Uncle Fester, using his values of love as a cause for the Addams’ ancestors to be distant from their graves and to assist the family members in seeing their self-worth and relevance within their familial roles.
While there was an obvious tone of life lessons throughout the performance, there was also an entertaining motif of breaking the fourth wall, known as speaking directly to the audience, by a number of characters. One of these included Morticia Addams, focusing on the things, which helped her in times of stress and resulting in a tap dance routine and song on how death is “Just Around the Corner.”
Along with the creative inclusion of the audience, there was an abundance of dark features throughout the sets used and there was balance present between the revelations and lessons discovered among the morbidity of the family’s lifestyle. The play used a set of characters from a generation past and incorporated many modern-day references and adult jokes amidst dancing and singing, creating a comedic collaboration, which every age group in the audience was able to relate to.
The Broadway performance of this play starred Nathan Hale and Beatrice Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia Addams. Within the lobby, audience members were able to choose a string to add to the Fulton’s interactive communication web, depicting how their family remains close. The following colors corresponded as follows: yellow for shared past/childhood, red for biological relation/genes, white for honesty, black for shared culture/values, and black for white lies.
Overall, the Fulton’s cast did a wonderful job in having the audience takes joy in their darkness while growing together. The Addams Family will be available for viewing until October 25, 2015 at the Fulton Opera House.