Snaps for the “The Addams Family”
By Noah Liedtke
It is that time of year again: Spring Musical season. This year, Northside’s production was “The Addams Family,” with performances at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 14, 15, and 16, and a 3:00 p.m. matinee on Feb. 17. The cast consisted of 11 main roles as well as three ensembles totaling more than 40 cast members. I saw the play’s Friday night performance, and the large number of people on stage and in the audience added to the show’s dramatic and grandiose atmosphere.
The musical was directed by Mrs. Nythia Martinez, choir teacher, while set direction and the orchestra was managed by Mr. Michael Lill, band teacher. The two stage managers guiding the actors, set movements, and logistics of the production were Aiyana Buchanan, Adv. 006, and Isabel Walsman-Diaz, Adv. 910. Diaz and Mr. Craig Miller helped choreograph the numerous dances, and Betty Slatkoff, Adv. 006, was one of the art captains. The members of Stage Crew also helped bring the musical to its fullest potential, building sets and running the technical aspects of the show, including sound and lights. Christa Ciesil, Adv. 905, who played Wednesday Addams, said “I think our entire company made sure to always understand that the show is built on the foundation of love. Love causes both the conflicts and resolutions in the musical, so we all made sure to keep it in mind and in turn we found a love for each other.”
A few minutes after the show was set to start, the house lights dimmed and a spotlight shone on the curtain. A hand appears out of it, snapping to the beat of the classic “Addams Family” intro song for what felt like a long time. After that, the curtains opened and the musical began, starting with the song “When You’re an Addams,” which introduces all of the main character. The setting is a graveyard, where the family celebrates their dead ancestors. At the end of the celebration, however, Uncle Fester, played by Mario Cook, Adv. 904, blocks the Addams’ ancestors return to the afterlife and convinces them to meddle in their family’s affairs because Wednesday has fallen in love with an “average boy” from Ohio: Lucas Beineke, played by Luke Rodgers, Adv. 104. Her parents, Gomez and Morticia Addams (Donovan Holt, Adv. 907, and Molly McQuillan, Adv. 901, respectively), are worried about her when they see her embracing happy things and is cheerful in the song “Pulled.” Wednesday then tells her parents that she has invited Lucas and his family over for dinner, and begs them for “One Normal Night;” at the same time, Lucas begs his parents, Mal and Alice Beineke, (Seth Nicholoff, Adv. 910, and Clare Mulholland, Adv. 001, respectively) not to judge the Addams’. The scene then changes to Wednesday’s little brother Pugsley, played by Elisabeth McGovern, Adv. 911, on Thursday and Saturday, and Tessa Martinez, Adv. 003, on Friday and Sunday. He plots to ruin his sister’s relationship by stealing a truth potion from his Grandma, played by Molly Furlong, Adv. 906. The act ends with both families playing a game of “Full Disclosure,” in which everyone takes a sip from the sacred family chalice and tells the group something they have never told anyone before. The potion that Pugsley stole is consumed by Alice who is changed and reveals all of her marital problems. After this, Wednesday reveals that Lucas and she are planning to get married. Everyone starts to fight and Fester has the ancestors create a thunderous storm, trapping the two families together for the rest of the night. The action then took a brief pause during a fifteen-minute long intermission.
The second act begins with Wednesday and Lucas fighting: she does not think Lucas is “crazy” enough to be with her. At the same time, Morticia throws Gomez out for lying to her. Eventually, Gomez talks to Wednesday, telling her that he just wants to see his daughter be happy, even when it is hard to see her grow up. After this talk, Wednesday conducts a test for Lucas to prove that they are meant to be together: he gets over his initial hesitation by letting her shoot an arrow at an apple on his head, blindfolded. Her success reaffirms the duo’s faith in their future marriage and gives them the courage to stand up to their families. At the same time, Gomez and Mal bond over their marital issues and Mal decides to loosen up his demeanor in order to save his marriage, convincing Alice that he is “Crazier Than You [Alice]”. Gomez apologizes to Morticia and dances with her, which the audience learns is very important in an Addams marriage. Finally, all three couples end up happy together and the spirits return to the afterlife for another year. The musical ends with the number “Move Toward the Darkness,” in which all is revealed and Fester finds his happy ending as the man in the moon. The family joins together to celebrate the marriage of Wednesday and Lucas before the entire cast gathered to take a final bow.
Overall, I really enjoyed this musical not only for its humor and drama on stage, but also the cast’s talents. Armando Reyes, Adv. 902, said “The musical was a huge time commitment and it was as good as the effort we put in. It was a massive success and it was fun to be a part of it throughout all steps, from audition to performance.” “The Addams Family” was truly a fun performance to see.