BWW Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY at Boise Little Theater
The Addams Family has taken many forms since their creation in the 1930's by cartoonist Charles Addams. Most of us can remember watching the 1960's tv series starring Jon Astin and Carolyn Jones, either live or in reruns. In 2009 the new musical had a trial run in Chicago. After some editing of the musical numbers, they found their way to Broadway in 2010.
The Addams characters need no introduction. Especially when the main theme song from the tv series plays in the pre show music and the entire audience snaps together in rhythm without any persuasion.
The musical begins in the family graveyard. The living, dead and undecided, join together to celebrate being an Addams. Uncle Fester keeps the Ancestors from returning to their graves as the family needs help. Wednesday has fallen in love with an All-American boy from Ohio and is afraid of her mother's reaction. The Ancestors must help the family through a visit from the boy and his family and make sure the two young lovers can be together before Uncle Fester will allow them to return to rest in peace.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY musical is a fabulous ensemble show. Most songs and scenes not only include the principal characters, but are backed by the entire company playing the Ancestors. This group definitely didn't miss a beat in harmonies, dance move and moving the set.
That being said, the immediate Addams's and their dinner guests, the Beineke Family were amazing. Gomez, played by Greg Irwin, was such fun to watch. His smooth baritone voice was even better to listen to. Gomez is onstage almost the entire show, juggling wife and daughter and Beineke and Irwin never tired. Caryln Jones who plays Morticia is more Bebe Neuwirth than Carolyn Jones, and I loved it. Her low dark speaking and singing voice, raises above the entire female ensemble in the best way possible. Conner Talbot portrayed Lucas Beineke has a killer tenor voice. And youngster Reed Adams as Puglsey, is superb.
The two characters who stole the show for me were husband and wife, Stephen McKinney as emcee Uncle Fester and Annie McKinney as Alice Beineke. Both have amazing comic timing, beautiful voices and a presence on stage that brings you into their side stories so much, that you almost forget about the main plot of the show.
The staging and lighting could have used some help, scenes were often put in front of the curtain for obvious scene changes and most of the time the characters were in shadows and not spooky ones. The costumes and the choreography were perfect. I did, however, miss the song "In the Arms" which was removed from the show when it left broadway as most companies can't budget a giant squid for their production.
Boise Little Theater's production has all the right pieces for this family chaos to be heartwarming, kooky and a must see. Oh, and keep your eye on Lurch.
The AADAMS FAMILY runs through October 28th. Tickets are available at http://boiselittletheater.org/buy-tickets/