Making it's Orange County debut at Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center for the Arts, The Addams Family: the Musical has once again come to life.
Once it was a New Yorker cartoon series spanning six decades and made famous by Charles Addams; then it was a fun television adventure; it progressed to feature film and now it's a musical.
The upbeat music, made famous from the 60's television series, The Addams Family, flooded the amphitheatre as the audience, many of whom were familiar with the famed series, began tapping their feet and clicking their fingers in time to the beat as we were treated to an original story based on this family whose normality isn't exactly normal.
Since Gomez (Douglas Sills) loves nightmares, he was sure to love his adventure to come -- every father's nightmare as his daughter Wednesday (Cortney Wolfson) has decided to grow up and fall in love with a sweet young man from a respectable "normal" family. Confiding in her father, and begging him not to tell her mother, Morticia (Sara Gettelfinger), from whom he's never kept a secret, she starts a process that will change the family dynamics forever. Her brother, Pugsley (Patrick D Kennedy) is, of course, against the match because his sister will no longer torture him but Grandma (Pippa Pearthree) doesn't seem to mind so much and Lurch (Tom Corbeil) keeps counsel to himself.
When the boy Lucas (Curtis Holbrook) and his mother Alice (Gaelen Gilliland) and father Mal (Martin Vidnovic) come to visit, hell breaks loose as Pugsley's attempt at a spell backfires against Wednesday's desire to have a normal dinner.
Uncle Fester (Blake Hammond), complete with the lightblub, is our guide to the story as he encourages the spirits of the ancestors (Sara Andreas, Lauryn Ciardullo, Steve Geary, Victoria Huston-Elm, Megan Jimenez, Patrick Oliver Jones, Lizzie Klemperer, Michelle Marmolejo, Christy Morton, Brad Nacht, Jonathan Ritter, Murray Rundus, Roland Rusinek, Matthew Schmidt and Geo Seery) to help the young couple.
Comic timing was perfect and there were many laughs and many truisms. To fully appreciate the show, however, it helped if you were familiar with the show or film as many references are made to the events of the series. As a fan of the series, I gave it a "10." As Morticia says, "Who's to tell what is normal or not?"
The full orchestra greatly contributed to the enjoyment of the play. The production and set designs along with costumes are by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch while Sergio Trujillo did the fantastic choreography. The entire production is under the supervision of four time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks. The national tour features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music lyrics by Andrew Lippa.
The production features excellent lighting design by Natasha Katz, while Acme Sound Partners did the sound design. Puppetry was done by Basil Twist while Mary Michell Campell and Ben Whiteley did the music supervision and direction. Orchestrations were done by Larry Hochman while August Eriksmoen did the marvelous dance arrangements. Hair was by Tom Watson. make up by Angelina Avallone and special effects by Greg Meeh.
Running from Dec 18-30th, 2012, tickets start at $20 and can be had by calling 714 556 2787 or going online to www.SCFTA.org. The 2 pm performance on Dec. 29th, will include audio description, open captioning and sign language interpretation. Shows are 7:30 pm T-F with a special matinee on Dec 28th and Sat shows are 2 pm and 7:30 while Sunday shows are 1 and 6:30 pm. There will be no Christmas Day performance The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, Ca.
Future shows include War Horse and Wicked.