Tonight’s 10 p.m. wish: That my daughters’ love for live theatre keeps growing.
At first, my youngest daughter Daisy was apprehensive about going to see the “creepy” Addams Family musical at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre which began its fall run on October 8th. “Is it going to be scary?” she wanted to know.
My mom and I reassured her that it would be the silly, funny kind of creepy. We just didn’t know quite how funny.
The pre-show cocktails, with smoke billowing out of the martini glass, mesmerized my daughters. I was scared to drink more than a tiny sip, but my mom was brave enough to give it a try.
Once the show started, nervous Daisy was sold from the moment Jeff Stockberger as Lurch the butler (or the “zombie,” as Daisy called him) answered the door.
Jeff could not have been more perfect in this role. (If you get a chance to see it, check out the way the undead Lurch responds to commands to “walk faster,” all the way off stage and into the wings. Hysterical.)
The casting overall seemed perfect, from the magnificently morbid and sexy Morticia, played by Erin Cohenour, to the charismatic-but-browbeaten Gomez, played expertly by Eddie Curry, who was hopelessly caught between the iron wills of his wife and daughter. Amanda Butterbaugh was absolutely hilarious as the wild-haired and half-cracked Grandma. (One of my favorite moments was when stopped the show with a somewhat shocking and PERFECTLY timed one-liner.) The Addams kids, Wednesday and Pugsley, brought vocal and acting strength to their eccentric roles, and John Vessels and Sara Hund had their own showstopping moments as Wednesday’s soon-to-be in-laws, trapped at the most bizarre dinner party one could imagine. And Shaun Rice as Uncle Fester still has my daughters scratching their heads….how on earth did he pull off his hysterical “weightless” dance as he serenaded his true love, the moon?
Since every big musical needs a dance ensemble, this musical adaptation cleverly summons the ghosts of dead Addams family ancestors to fill the stage with more creepy energy. They were mesmerizing, and the costumes, created by my dear amiga Jill Kelly, were gorgeously spooky and fun!
At the end of the show, an exhausted Daisy was nearly falling asleep in my lap, but after the curtain call she still insisted on waiting to meet some of the actors as they left the theatre. “I want to see the zombie!” She insisted. Luckily, the “zombie” obliged. (Thanks, Jeff!)
It was the perfect kind of Halloween family outing – just the right balance of creepy and whimsical. And a good reminder that even though most families have eccentricities and imperfections, even the oddest families also have humor and love that’s worth singing about.