Friday, October 18, 2019
‘Addams Family’ is Ooky and Well Played
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Grandma, played by Priya Merchant, tells Pugsley Addams, played by Rylee Brown, how a certain potion will bring out someone’s dark nature.
 
Thursday, June 20, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Luke Mauldin has had to rein himself in to remain gloomy and emotionless as the manservant Lurch. And Charlie Coulter is having a ball playing the incorrigible and very bald Uncle Fester who is in love with the moon.

You’ve guessed it—it’s the kooky, spooky, somewhat creepy, upside down world of The Addams Family.

And the Broadway musical version is on stage through Saturday, June 22, at the Sun Valley Community School Theatre.

 
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Gomez, played by Kagen Albright, introduces The Game where each member of the dinner table tells a secret.
 

The St. Thomas Playhouse Summer Theater Project is staging the musical, which debuted in 2010, at 7 p.m. tonight through Saturday. Tickets are $12 for children and $20 for adults, available online at www.stthomasplayhouse.org or by calling 208-726-5349, extension 15. And, yes, feel free to wear a costume—you’ll feel right at home.

“I never saw the TV show before but the musical is so much fun,” said Coulter, who got a buzz cut to play Uncle Fester.

The musical revolves around Wednesday Addams, who is now a young woman and bringing her boyfriend and his family home to meet her parents.

They, of course, are Gomez and Morticia, the ghoulish couple whose first date involved seeing “Death of a Salesman” and who take great joy in dancing to the Death Rattle

 
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Morticia, played by Taylor Telford, tells how the Tango keeps her marriage alive, while Alice, played by Neva Baer, reveals that her marriage has grown passionless.
 

And, to their horror, Wednesday’s boyfriend Lucas is…well, normal. In fact, you might say he and his family are downright boring, right down to their sweater vests and the fact that they’re from the  uber-exciting state of Ohio.

It doesn’t help that Wednesday has confided in her father that she plans to marry Lucas but that she wants to keep it a secret from her mother, especially since Gomez has never kept a secret from his wife.

“The kids like how it walks the edge of being dark yet is funny,” said Director Sara Gorby. “Gomez and Mortician are really a lovely couple shrouded in darkness.”

“But in the end love triumphs over all,” said Etienne Blumberg, who plays a 1920’s flapper among the Addams family’s ancestors.

 
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Uncle Fester, played by Charlie Coulter, surrounds himself with the family ancestors.
 

The show is fresh and exciting—very different from what Sun Valley audiences have become accustomed to seeing.

Gorby has done a masterful job of directing the young people who seem to have poured their heart and soul into the production, acting and singing like young pros.

The props are clever—just look at the chair with shark-like propensities that you definitely wouldn’t want to sit on if your host has a vendetta against you.

And Costume Director Hailey Zanes has used materials from other plays, such as “Sister Act,” to concoct engaging costumes that range from Morticia’s tight-fitting mermaid-like gown to the outfits of the  ancestors, who resemble ghostly flappers as a group.

 
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Wednesday, played by Christine DuFur, worries that she and Lucas, played by William Carney, are too different.
 

“We tried to have each represent an era,” said Zanes, and I’m still adding makeup as we go.”

Quinton Norton, for instance, represents a Stone Age cave man; Daria Brown, the Egyptian Bronze Age; Bella Maurtua, ancient Rome; Ella Boice, 9th century Celtic; Brady Giles, a knight, and Julia Ott, a Renaissance Woman from Italy’s 14th century.

“The cast is so incredibly talented and super-duper musical. They’ve all work so hard and put so much effort into it,” said Jon Tatterson, a production assistant.

The original production debuted in 2010 starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. The musical with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, garnered two Tony nominations and seven Drama Desk nominations, winning one Drama Desk Award for set design.

In this version, Kagen Albright plays Gomez and Taylor Telford, Morticia Addams.

Charlie Coulter portrays Uncle Fester; Priya Merchant, Grandma; Christine DuFur, Wednesday Addams, and Rylee Brown, Pugsley Addams.

Lucas, the boyfriend, is played by William Carney; Mal, by Justice Petzoldt, and Alice, by Neva Baer. Luke Mauldin plays Lurch.

Female ancestors are played by Daria Brown, Bella Maurtua, Ella Boice, Savina Barini, Julia Ott, Annabel Webster, Coco Vorm, Elena Vorm, Sarah Feltman, Skyler Yuengling, Claire Watson, Etienne Blumberg and Sherri Egoavil.

Male ancestors are played by Quinton Norton, Brady Giles, Sean Sheehan and Wyatt Root.

Musical direction is by R.L. Rowsey and Dorinda Rendahl. Melodie Taylor-Mauldin choreographed the musical.

 

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