PNC Broadway in Louisville raised the curtain on its 31st season at the Kentucky Center last night with the opening performance of The Addams Family. The musical brings most of the characters from the classic television series to the stage, set as the ooky and spooky Addams home in New York’s Central Park.
Wednesday Addams is in love. She has met the boy of her dreams in Lucas Beineke and wants to bring Lucas and his family to dinner. The trouble is that the Beineke family is everything that the Addams family isn’t. That is to say, they’re normal.
The show pulls typical musical theatre conventions (think love stories and jazz hands) into the macabre world of the Addams’. The results of this odd combination are cheerful songs about death and lighthearted dance sequences with tortured ghosts.
With updated (yet extremely corny) jokes and modern references, The Addams Family had the opening night audience chuckling in their seats, despite a few scenic and actor snafus.
The strength of this show is not in the script; the storyline is fine, but there are some quirks in it that are too odd for even the Addams’. Lucas Beineke’s mom Alice speaks in rhymes for no apparent reason, and the second act is home to Uncle Fester’s funny but strange song, “The Moon and Me,” which stays true to the theatrical practice of singing a ballad that does not advance the plot.
No, the strength in this production lies in actor Jennifer Fogarty as Wednesday. Her strong voice carries her from beginning to end, and she has moments (like when she discovers that her arms do, in fact, move away from her sides) that are terrific.
Dan Olson also has some hilarious moments as the audience-favorite Lurch.
This show is not going to teach lessons or solve the problems of the world, but it will make you smile…even if it is in that roll-your-eyes kind of way.
The Addams Family continues through Sunday, October 20th at the Kentucky Center. Tickets start at $25 and may be purchased online or by calling the Kentucky Center box office at 502-584-7777.
Image: Courtesy PNC Broadway in Louisville