Have you ever welled up over a man in a bald cap serenading a parasol? If not, then you must have missed Musical Theatre’s production of the macabre Addams Family Musical. Sleek and comic, the production was devilishly good, with first time director Anna Carley proving herself capable of constructing a high quality performance. A sublime cast from principals to chorus, the twisting love story was interwoven with comedy as black as Grandma Addam’s teeth.
Young Wednesday Addams (Issy Chakiris) threatens to break away from the clan when she falls for Ohio boy Lucas (Ben Eccles), causing chaos within the family as a result. While Chakiris’ Wednesday was peppier than may have been expected, she defied her character’s wish to be average during ‘One Normal Night’, where she displayed her excellent voice.
Clearly vocal ability was in the Addams family genes, as the sultry siren Morticia (Ellie Pead) and meticulously characterised Gomez (Richard Upton) proved their worth as the head of the family. Upton’s superb comic timing resulted in every joke hitting home, as the audience settled into the darker side of their humour. The ‘Game’ was especially entertaining, with the song ‘Full Disclosure’ involving choreographed hand and head movements from the whole family, as they feared being the next chosen to tell a secret truth.
Grandma Addams however, was one character not keeping anything to herself. Whether attempting to entice male characters, or her brief rendition of ‘Single Ladies’, Downing’s portrayal deserved as many laughs as it got.
A truly professional production, thought could be seen in the minutest details of the show. From the precision of the band to the glowing crosses carved into the set, the dedication of the cast and crew was obvious. Particularly in reference to the chorus as the Ancestors, who were utilised in every scene they appeared in. From representing haunted trees to the inventive use of a parasol to represent the moon, the chorus proved themselves a vital asset in acting as well as vocals. Indeed, the ensemble vocals were impressive. The first note was wordless, yet hit with the force of the entire cast as they descended the stairs in the positioning of a family portrait.
Unfortunately there was more than one occasion where actors were battling to be heard above the band, but nonetheless the beginning striking image set up what proved to be an equally striking show.
Images: Music Theatre Society/Facebook