“The Addams Family” was a much-beloved, quirky TV series of the 1960s. The show centered around a peculiar, wealthy family who had a special taste for the macabre and seemed to be unaffected my normally frightening things. This past October 30, Susquehanna University hosted its last show for its spin on “The Addams Family.” The show put an interestingly romantic twist on the gothic 1960s TV series.
The musical centered on three couples, having more of a romantic focus than the original TV show. Wednesday Addams, played by Kailee Mae Nelson, and her love interest, Lucas; Gomez and Morticia Addams, and Lucas’s parents. Not unlike other plots, the three couples’ romances are fraught with misunderstandings, which is the main driving force of the plot. Wednesday is in love with a “normal” boy, much to her family’s dismay.
Most of the family members do not want her to get married. Both Lucas’s parents and Gomez and Morticia also began to have marital problems. Throughout the show, Gomez struggled between helping his daughter hide her love interest from his wife, while simultaneously promising his beautiful wife he wasn’t keeping any secrets. All three couples struggled because of a lack of honesty in their relationships.
Wednesday begs her family to have “one normal day” (one of the songs featured in the musical) while her fiancée, along with his parents visit the Addams household for over dinner. However, her younger brother Pugsley has different plans. He steals a magical potion from Grandmama and attempts to give it to Wednesday, but accidentally gives it to Lucas’s mother instead! The potion causes one’s true nature to come out, and Lucas’s mother morphs from a happy-go-lucky, submissive wife to a savagely honest, fed-up woman.
The musical came to a climax when all three of the couples were fighting. Despite the dark themes prevalent in the musical, the overarching lesson was “love conquers all.” Just as each of the couples seem ready to split apart for good with no chance of reconciliation, there is a miraculous breakthrough and the characters all forgive each other. In the end, all three couples make up and “live happily ever after.”
The songs scattered throughout “The Addams Family” described what had just happened in the musical, rather than furthering the plot line of the musical. This approach worked well for SU’s musical adaptation of “The Addams Family.” Most of the songs highlighted the family’s abnormal attraction to death and the grotesque. One song sung by Morticia, in which the main line was “death is just around the corner,” highlighted the musical’s dark nature. The darkly-themed songs combined with the underlying “love conquers all” motif in the plot blended together wonderfully.
The wonderful hybrid of the macabre themes and themes of love made SU’s musical absolutely entertaining. The opposing themes surprisingly coexisted well in “The Addams Family.” So, hats off to Susquehanna University and all the actors and staff who put their hearts into “The Addams Family!”