The Addams Family Musical, now onstage at OBU Theatre, certainly is a “screa-um,” but it takes the dark side and shreds it through quirky contemporary commentary and traditional “love conquers all” convention for a delightful comedy.
Dour, destructive daughter Wednesday has grown up and fallen in love with a disturbingly “normal” young man who hails from everything Middle America. Will a “meet the parents” dinner end happily ever after? Can anyone survive poison, hexes, mayhem, dreadful disclosure and relatives?
Sydney Mathews is Wednesday, a lethal mix of venom and vivacity as she tries to balance her sinister nature with the lightness of being in love. The object of her affections is played valiantly by Caleb Frank, who coaxes his skeptical and repressed parents to the moldy mansion. His mother, played with worried fervor by Lara Gatton, finds a new voice and delivers a beautiful vocal performance. Court Haygarth is the befuddled father bewitched into shedding years of reasonableness.
Mater- and paterfamilias are as unctuous and outrageous a couple you’ll ever experience. McKenzie Reece’s Morticia can command terror and obedience with a flick of a fingernail or a sly stare. Caleb Schantz’ Gomez is irresistibly charming, maniacally enthusiastic, and devilishly delicious. He enchants with a great portion of the musical score and a lot of the illogical logic. The duo’s suave and slinky “Tango De Amor” alone is worth the price of admission.
Of course, the whole Addams clan is featured, including a host of ghosts you may not have met. Brenna Bergeron, Sarah Smith, Tori Smith, Harmony Dewees, Julie Welch, Chase Davis, Grant McGee, Garrett Wheeler, Joel Tetmeyer and Anna Tyler appear as comic wraiths, wall apparitions, under-the-bed monsters, and danseurs macabre.
Local actor Luke Dyer plays the rotund and reprehensible Pugsley with deadpan malevolence, only betrayed by well-performed winsome songs that reveal a child’s need for love and security.
Kaeley Mastin’s Grandma is a cranky, hysteric, lunatic marvel. Noah Cassidy rises to heights unknown as the manservant of few words, Lurch.
Lumbering and skittering and barreling through it all is Chase Hendrickson as Uncle Fester who directs actions with electrifying flourish and zany ambition.
Assistant professor of theater Matthew Caron has infused the production with energetic physicality and charm, with excellent musical direction by Louima Lilite, Jessica Fullerton is choreographer and designers are David Kenworthy and Alyssa Couturier. Technical crews and orchestra are OBU students who have provided inventive settings and ambiance.
Based on the characters created by Charles Addams, the Andrew Lippa-Marshall Brickman-Rick Elice musical will be performed in Craig-Dorland Theatre in Shawnee Hall at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2-4, with matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 5. A special Halloween performance is 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Tickets are $15 and $5 and reservations are recommended. Contact the box office at www.okbu.edu/theatre or 405 585-4350.