By Mark A. Leon
An Addams Family love story, hmmm they do say opposites attract. The latest production from The Footlight Players, “The Addams Family” reminds us that love works in mysterious ways. From its opening number of “When You’re an Addams” featuring the entire cast surrounded by a lavish set and ominous fog, you are drawn into this mad cap evening of fun, music and mayhem.
This finger snapping, foot stomping production is the perfect first entry into the Charleston Halloween theatre season. In the background of a remote forested area somewhere in New York, lives the Addams Family. Gomez, the quirky, yet suave husband and father, Morticia, the sexy and slightly sinister wife and mother, Uncle Fester, whose insanity is just enough to question his motives, but his lovable romantic side makes him irresistible, Wednesday, who has the makings of a future Navy Seal, but gets hit by cupid’s arrow, Pugsley, the lovable youngest son who prefers torture to tennis, Grandma, at least we think she is someone’s grandma with her potions and playful demeanor and Lurch, who, in such few words says so much.
This two hour and fifteen-minute musical enters the world of a family who prefers the sewers to the sunlight, black to white, pain to happiness and turns its world inside out as the dorky conservative Lucas finds true love in the heart of Wednesday Addams. Now the Addams Family, must not only face the thought of losing their daughter, but meet Lucas’ family as well, a conservative middle class family from Ohio. Let the games begin.
David Hatch as Gomez is a shining star on stage. His dominant presence with his sensitive heart, comical narrative and robust musical voice made for an outstanding theatrical performance. He truly embodies the nature and character of Gomez Addams with integrity and warmth.
Maureen Renee Hughes brings sexiness and fear to the character of Morticia. As she reveals her legs and fishnet stockings and engages in the Tango with Gomez, there is an aura of romance and intimacy that both characters bring out with ease. She encompasses an elegance to black and even in the shadows of darkness, she finds the light of love.
Rebecca Weatherby, a graduate of the Charleston Southern’s Horton School of Music, brings to life this awkward teenage girl who knows more about crossbows than boys and makes her believe in a life of normalcy. When she enters the stage in a yellow dress prior to dinner, the uncomfortable innocence of a girl who wants so much to be loved and accepted comes out so powerfully. Over the course of the play, she much wrestle with the critical issues of love, family and future. It is a touching evolution wrought with anger, understanding and humor. Ms. Weatherby’s performance was highlighted with the tremendous range and versatility of her vocals during her musical numbers.
This beautiful cast is rounded out by Clyde Moser as Lurch, Jessie Price as Pugsley, Emma Scott as Alice, Matthew Willingham as Lucas, Daniel Breuer as Mal, Allison Brower as Grandma and Rusty Cooler as Fester. Each brings a zany pop and flair to the ensemble.
Act I concludes with the Addams and Lucas’ family playing a post dinner game of Full Disclosure. As not to give away too much, this was reminiscent of the final scene of “La Vie Boheme” that drew Act I of “Rent” to a close. It is a large ensemble number filled with many moving parts that manifests in a true turning point in the play.
You will be all smiles throughout the night with musical numbers like “Just Around the Corner”, ‘Crazier Than You”, and “Tango de Amor” to name just a few.
The Addams Family is a night filled with humor, spooky fun and strangely good family values.
Find someone you love or bring the family. You will not be disappointed. Just be sure to not put an apple on top of your head.