By: Marlana Ward
The beloved television and motion picture classic, The Addams Family, comes to life on the stage of Heritage Hall as JCHS Players and the Johnson County Community Theatre join together to present “The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy“. The show provides a glimpse into the family dynamics of the creepy and kooky bunch as Wednesday Addams grows up and finds love in an unexpected place. Antics abound as the Addams’ try to adjust to this new stage of life and as Wednesday introduces her new beau to the family.
This is the first time that the JCHS Players and Johnson County Community Theatre have joined forces for a high school production. This coalition of local thespians allows for more depth and experience to be breathed into the characters portrayed. The combination of the two troops seems to flow fluidly and shows the great dedication of everyone involved in the local arts scene.
With the Addams Family being an iconic group of characters from many people’s childhood, casting such important roles had to be done with particular care. Those chosen for the roles of the family do a wonderful job of capturing the oddly endearing family’s mannerisms and essence. The cast for the family included: Derek Visser as Gomez Addams; Megan McEwen as Morticia Addams; Travis Ward as Uncle Fester Addams; Kaelyn Sussex as Grandma; Abigail Arnett as Wednesday Addams; Andrew Robinson as Pugsley Addams; and Zach Issacs as the family’s faithful butler, Lurch.
Visser and McEwen glide across the floor and do a wonderful job portraying the roles of the enamored Gomez and his beloved, stoic-faced beauty Morticia. Sussex and Robinson accurately express the young angst coupled with the uniquely dark sense of humor which Wednesday and her brother Pugsley are loved for. Bringing that extra bit of strangeness to the stage, Ward’s Uncle Fester has audiences giggling whenever he comes to stage and declares his feelings for his new “love.” Ever the straight man Lurch, Isaacs’ presence on stage immediately draws the eye as you look for those moments of surprise from the dedicated family servant.
New to the story of the Addams’ is the addition of Wednesday’s love interest and his family. The seemingly straight-laced family from Ohio include: Conner Long as Lucas Beineke; Scott Loveless as Mal Beineke; and Josie Ward as Alice Beineke. The trio show the awe and hesitation that any family may have as they enter into the Addams residence. Long’s portrayal of Lucas is a fun representation of how any young man could expect to react as he pursues a relationship with the girl who does not care to fit within society’s norm. As Mal and Alice, Loveless and Ward portray what on the surface appears to be the everyday ordinary couple, but of course, things are never as perfect as they seem. Ward’s musical number during one portion of the show brings laughter and perhaps even a few nods of agreement from the ladies in attendance.
Of course, a story about the Addams’ would not be complete without homage to the ancestors who made the family what it is today.
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