BWW Reviews: THE ADDAMS FAMILY National Tour
They're creepy and they're kooky, and they're absolutely fabulous! The national tour of Broadway's The Addams Family is taking over Omaha's Orpheum Theater this week, and there's still time to get your tickets to this fun-filled production.
Based on the beloved Addams characters created by Charles Addams, the musical revolves around the eldest Addams child, Wednesday, the boy she intends to wed, Lucas, and the family dinner meant to introduce the two very different families to one another. When they decide to enlist in the help of Gomez, Wednesday's father, secrets are kept, lines are crossed, and hilarity ensues.
Filled with a fun, although sometimes too sporadic, score, this musical is everything you would want in an Addams Family musical. The sets and the costumes seem almost straight from the film and teleVision Productions, and the casting is pretty close to perfection. Whatever minor differences there are in the portrayal of the Addams Family seem to be by actors' choice, in an attempt to put their own stamp on these beloved characters; but they do not take away from the show or their roles. My only wish is that the wonderful ensemble, who portray the Addams ancestors, had a bigger part in the production. They almost feel like an afterthought at times, which is unfortunate given the amount of talent on the stage.
The stand out in the opening night performance was Jennifer Fogarty, who portrays the Addams Family daughter, Wednesday. Whether it be the wide eyed expression she maintained throughout the performance that kept the audience drawn to her, or her soaring vocals in numbers such as Crazier Than You, One Normal Night, or (my favorite) Pulled, she captivated the opening night audience, and received well-earned screams and thunderous applause at curtain call. Keep an eye out for her in the future. Broadway will surely come calling soon.
KeLeen Snowgren, who portrays Morticia Addams, also gave a stand out performance as the matriarch of the Addams Family household. Keleen has a beautiful and rich voice, which she showcases in Secrets and Just Around the Corner; and her ability to bring the matriarch to life on stage every night is reason enough to see this production, and is sure to thrill any Addams fan.
As the patriarch of the Addams Family, Gomez Addams, Jesse Sharp was able to bring a new life this well-known character, while not steering away from those who had filled the shoes in previous productions. His portrayal of Gomez made the character more jovial than dark, but still kept true to the character made popular on screen. While the vocals were not always there 100%, which could partially be attributed to the score, you can't help but like the guy. He does a wonderful job bringing Gomez to life, and is a great choice for this role.
One of the biggest surprises of the night came from Dan Olson, who portrays Lurch in the touring production. Towering over the others in the cast, his constantly blank expression and use of grumbles as a means of conversation made for some highly entertaining moments. The highlight for him came at the end of the show, when he took the audience by surprise and sang in a glorious bass voice, making for one of my favorite moments in the show. I only wish we could hear more from him.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the rest of the fantastic Addams Family, as well as their entertaining houseguests, the Beinekes. Shaun Rice was spot on as the fantastically fascinating Uncle Fester, whose love for the moon makes way for one of the best songs in the show. Amanda Bruton delivered the lines of Grandma with such directness and hilarity; and Jeremy Todd Shinder was unstoppable as the little brother, Pugsley Addams. As the "normal" Beineke family, Mark Poppleton and Blair Anderson brought a sweetness and a real sincerity to the production as Mal and Alice Beineke; while Bryan Welnicki is a perfect choice for the love struck son Lucas, the boy Wednesday plans to marry.
Whether you are an Addams fan or not, this show has something for everyone to enjoy. Tickets are still available at the Orpheum box office, as well as online at Ticket Omaha. If I were you, I would get them while you still can.