‘They’re creepy and they’re kooky’
There’s a new family in town, one that might be considered a little eccentric. But, not to worry, they will only be staying four days.
That’s how long “The Addams Family” will run on the Northwestern Lehigh High School stage, where everyone is invited to come for a visit and stay for the show.
“The Addams Family” has been through numerous iterations over the years.
Originally a cartoon, it evolved into a popular television sitcom where the kooky characters and their affection for everything dark captured the imagination of the country.
Several movie adaptations followed, but in 2010, the musical version opened on Broadway starring audience favorites Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia.
The musical is known for being “the first stage show based on the characters.”
Much of the play’s action revolves around daughter, Wednesday, played by Andi Frano and her romantic relationship with a boy who is not at all similar to her or her family.
“Wednesday knows she’s different and then she falls in love with a normal guy,” Frano said. “She’s trying to keep her mother from finding out. As she starts to fall in love, she becomes more normal.
“She’s going against her normal self and the way her family is.”
Frano said she has seen the Addams Family movies but this show is different.
“The main conflict is about Wednesday keeping a secret from her mom,” Frano said.
Spencer Beidler plays Wednesday’s boyfriend Lucas. He meets Wednesday at a park.
“She shoots a bird that lands right in front of me,” he said. “The fact that they’re so different is what draws them together.
“In the play, my entire family is normal.
“They live in Ohio where they deal with mortgages and do taxes and all that, so when they meet the Addams’ it’s kind of like a convergence of two separate realities.”
Wednesday’s conflict with her mother, Morticia, is pivotal to the play.
Katerina Almeida who stars as Morticia, is well-suited for the role.
“My character has a lot of dance numbers and I’ve been dancing since I was 2,” Almeida said. “A lot of the pieces have a Latin tango style. It’s fun to do.”
Almeida describes her character as “dark, classy and a little bit sassy but the sassiness comes easy to me.”
Wednesday’s secret relationship with Lucas threatens Morticia’s closeness and faith in her husband, Gomez.
“In the play, they’re happy in love, however dark, but she gets very unhappy when she finds out Gomez has been keeping Wednesday’s secret from her,” Almeida said. “But, they make up in the end.
Almeida said Morticia thought she had a good relationship with her daughter until she finds out Wednesday and Lucas are getting married before the end of Act I.
“She has her own ideas about how Wednesday should act and what she should do,” Almeida said.
The play stresses family values such as love, honesty and fidelity.
“It’s a good play for everyone,” Almeida said. “Everyone will enjoy it.”
Hayden Bobbyn plays the demonstrative Gomez who is caught between his loyalty to his wife and his daughter.
Audiences will recognize his pinstriped suit and Spanish accent.
“Gomez has mixed feelings about Wednesday’s growing up,” Bobbyn said. “His first reaction is he can’t believe this is happening.”
Bobbyn had a string of adjectives to describe his character including “witty, very enthusiastic, loving, passionate and family oriented.”
“He’s crazy in love with Morticia,” he said, adding Almedia is his real girlfriend. “That helps a lot because it makes it easier to convey their affection to the audience.”
Gabriel Kinon plays Wednesday’s brother.
“Pugsley is the creepiest one in the play,” Kinon said. “He plays a major role and even though he threatens everyone with death, he becomes a loving brother.”
Pugsley is afraid of losing his sister if she marries.
“At the end of the show he realizes he is going to have more people in his life, like Lucas and his family,” Kinon said.
The show includes several other memorable characters.
Alex Sprossel who plays Fester, Gomez’s brother, describes his character as “crazy and very intelligent at the same time.
He’s sort of the smartest in the family besides Morticia, but also very wild and certainly not normal,” Sprossel said.
“Fester summons the ancestors to celebrate once every year.
“They’re basically dead people who only members of the Addams family see at first until guests stay the night.”
Under a mop of long, stringy hair is Porter Lilley, playing Cousin Itt.
“Itt follows Fester around and provides comic relief,” Lilley said. “I’m hoping to get a lot of laughs.”
Lilley said it is going to be a great show.
“We have a new group of freshmen who are really into the play,” Lilley said. “Everyone is excited to get things done.”
And, who could forget the Frankenstein-like character of Lurch?
“I’m the tall, gloomy butler who shows his emotion through his grunts,” said Zach Fry, who plays Lurch. “I do have a solo in the very last song.”
Director Bill Mutimer chose this play in response to student interest and enthusiasm.
“They were always talking about it, so I said yes this time,” Mutimer said.
“The music is great, upbeat and fun,” said choreographer Cristina Sohns Williams. “I’ve choreographed this play twice and it’s one of my favorites.”
There will be four performances of “The Addams Family” in the high school auditorium starting 7 p.m. Feb. 28 with additional shows at 7 p.m. March 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. March 3.