THE ADDAMS FAMILYMusic and Lyrics by: Andrew Lippa
Book by: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Based on characters created by: Charles Addams
Granbury Theatre Company
Director –Kyle Hoffman
Music Director—Ashley A. Green
Choreography – Stevie Simmons
Scenic Designer—Kerri Pavelick
Lighting Designer—Hank Baldree
Sound Designer – Joshua Carpenter
Make-Up Designer—Colton Lively
Costumer Designer—Drenda Lewis
CAST (at reviewed performance)
Gomez Addams—Brian Lawson
Morticia Addams—Caitlan Leblo
Uncle Fester—Chase Williams
Grandma—Mia Cree Washington
Wednesday Addams—Berry Harris
Pugsley Addams—Gavin Clark
Mal Beineke—Miles Emerson
Alice Beineke—Milette Duff Siler
Lucas Beineke—Fritz Hager III
The Addams Ancestors:
Beauty Queen—Emma Goldberg
Civil War Lady—Cheyenne Shreve
Medieval Lady—Baylee Arledge
Saloon Girl—Lena Moralez
Reviewed Performance: 10/20/2019
Reviewed by Genevieve Croft , Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
The history of “The Addams Family” extends further back than the 1960’s, though. First appearing as early as 1938, creator Charles Addams began illustrating “The Addams Family” as one panel cartoons appearing in The New Yorker Magazine. After a short run on television in the 1960’s (starring John Astin, Carolyn Jones, and former child film star Jackie Coogan), “The Addams Family” went into hibernation before making a comeback with two live-action films in the 1990’s, and even an animated Saturday morning cartoon. Fast forward to 2019, now a CGI film, “The Addams Family” continues to entertain, amuse, and mystify audiences as the Anti-All American Family. Even if you have never seen any version of “The Addams Family”, I can almost guarantee you have heard the theme song.
Director Kyle Hoffman brought together and collaborated with a tight ensemble cast of actors who worked well together, and created a fantastic representation of the Addams Family live on stage. With his concept of creating the kooky characters live on stage-complete with black, white and shades of gray (with a bit of Halloween purple thrown in for contrast) I felt like I was watching the old sitcom, with a bit of the modern mixed in for amusement. Pop culture references were flying as the show gained momentum. It was hilarious from start to finish. I know I am always in for a treat at the Granbury Theatre Company. The team of directors always produce Broadway caliber shows in the comfort of the Brazos Valley.
Set Designer Kerri Pavelick successfully transformed the proscenium stage into the multiple locations in the story. It was most impressive to see the Granbury Theatre Company make use of their rigging system. Scenic pieces would fly in and out with an air of mystery and awe. It was impressive to see how such simple things a few walls of the Addams’ home, or a skull-themed stone fireplace would totally transform the location. I was very impressed how each scene would seamlessly transition into the next, providing no break in continuity or time. Keeping with the overall concept of the production, black, white and shades of gray splashed the set for a ghoulish and spooky atmosphere.
I was absolutely awe-struck by the fantastic choreography by Stevie Simmons. Similar to the musical energy, and the choreography was also so intense and was impressive to watch. There were some impressive big numbers of choreography by the Addams Ancestors that provided quite a few laughs from the audience. I always come to expect professional and outstanding choreography from musicals at Granbury Theatre Company, and this production does not disappoint.
Costumes were designed by Drenda Lewis. Also very reminiscent of the television show, the best costume on the stage belonged to Morticia. I was absolutely in love with her black and purple lace gown (a la Elvira, Mistress of the Dark). It brought depth to Morticia’s character, and was a true Halloween Mistress’ costume. Also impressive were the costumes of the Addams Ancestors. Each ancestor had their own characters’ costumes from the time of their living on the Earth, and were fantastically color schemed in white and gray to imply a long afterlife in the Addams Family cemetery crypt. There was definite moments of creative license in the costuming, and certainly complimented the scenic design and the overall production concept.
Brian Lawson was absolutely phenomenal in the role of Gomez Addams. Mr. Lawson delivered a spot on, and charismatic performance full of energy, intensity and spirit. Not only did Mr. Lawson deliver with an incredible singing voice, but, he nailed the exotic accent that Raul Julia made famous in the original Addams’ Family films. As I have come to expect from Mr. Lawson and his performances, he commands the stage, and makes characters appear larger than life. Mr. Lawson delivers with his humor, his facial expressions, and it’s no doubt convincing as Gomez. Bravo, Mr. Lawson on a performance well-done.
Another standout was Caitlan Leblo in the role of Gomez’ wife, Morticia. Ms. Leblo provided everything that I would expect for the role made famous on Broadway stage by Bebe Neuwirth-the original queen of darkness (if you happen to watch the television series Frasier, you would understand the Lillith reference!) Ms. Leblo delivers with her remarkable voice, and dominating stage presence. She was most enjoyable to watch.
Berri Harris was fantastic in the role of Wednesday Addams. Ms. Harris was able to put her own unique interpretation of the role, as she falls in love with young Lucas Beineke (played wonderfully by Fritz Hager III). I enjoyed seeing new characterization of the Wednesday character, and seeing the discoveries of true love between Beineke and Addams. There was a natural innocence on stage between the two characters, and some nice moments of chemistry. Ms. Harris takes the role of Wednesday that audiences have become accustomed to, and breathes new life into the character.
While the entire cast brought a most excellent performance to the stage, the character of Lurch was by far one of the best characters in the entire production. Played to the hilt by Josh Leblo, Lurch provided great moments of humor. With his enormous physicality, amusing choreography, and an amazing operatic singing voice, I had many moments of laughter when he was on stage. It was most unexpected. I love little moments like that. It made the production much more memorable, and left the audience in “stitches.”
This production of The Addams Family is definitely worth seeing. The attention to detail evident in all aspects of this production makes for a fun experience at the theatre. Whether you are a fan of old sitcom, or look forward to taking your kids to see the newest Addams Family movie, you will definitely want to take the time and head to Granbury and see this production. It’s the perfect production for this Halloween season. I guarantee you moments of the creepy, and the kooky, the mysterious and spooky. It’s altogether ‘ooky’! Did you really think I would get through this entire review without mentioning any of the theme song lyrics? (Insert chuckle here). I do caution you, this production has some mature and adult content not appropriate children under 13. Proceed with caution.
You only have until November 10th to see The Addams Family at Granbury Theatre Company. You should really come to “see-um,” they really are a “screa-um,” its’ The Addams Family (snap, snap).
Granbury Theatre Company
Granbury Opera House
133 E. Pearl Street
Granbury, Texas 76048
Plays through November 10.
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm
Ticket prices range from $25-$30 depending on seating (Prime: Rows A, B, C, D, Standard or Balcony: Rows CR, E, F, G, H, J, Balcony)
For groups of 10 or more, please call the box office for rates & reservations.
For information and to purchase tickets, go to www.granburytheatrecompany.org or call: 817-579-0952.