The Addams Family has been a part of American culture since 1938, when cartoonist Charles Addams first published the spooky, kooky and ooky family in The New Yorker. The images became so popular, it eventually evolved into a TV show, movies, and most recently, a Broadway musical, according to Carol Hooper, show director.
“I saw it at the Mount Baker Theater amongst 1,200 people laughing and having a wonderful time. It was just so fun I knew I had to bring it to the islands,” said Hooper, and she did just that. “The Addams Family Musical” opens May 6 at the San Juan Community Theatre, and runs through May 21. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. each night, with the exception of the two Sundays when it starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $11 student reserve, $5 student rush, at the door.
Almost everyone has seen either the TV shows or the movies, if not both, and is familiar with Gomez, his wife Morticia, daughter Wednesday, son Pugsley, and the rest of the Addams clan. Hooper calls the Addams Family iconic, something Americans never quite forget.
“For one thing, they have wonderful values. They really care for one another,” Hooper said.
The main conflict of the play is that Wednesday has fallen in love with a “normal” boy named Lucas, and wants to marry him.
Pugsley, played by Luke Fincher, actually loves it when Wednesday tortures him, according to Fincher, and feels sad because he believes Wednesday is leaving him behind, to be with her love, Lucas. As a result he tries to devise plans to drive Lucas away.
To add to those “family values,” the chorus is made up of Wednesday’s ancestors who try to help the love-sick girl.
“They are not aloud back into the crypt until the problem is resolved,”Bill Watson, who plays one of the ancestors said.
It’s an interesting perspective, he went on to explain, because the “ancestors” get to watch the play from the stage.
“It’s such a unique musical,” Fiona Small, who also plays one of the ancestor’s said. “There is such flexibility to it. For example, my character gets to do the tango, which she never really would have had a chance to do. The tango came after her time.”
Throwing another dynamic into the story is the fact that Lucas, Wednesday’s fiance comes from a “normal” family. The question is raised, however, what is normal? For example, Lucas’ mother, Alice, played by Amanda Smith, speaks in rhymes and has her own secrets. “She really is a sweet lady from Ohio, who is nervous meeting the Addams for the first time,” Smith said.
Hooper is amazed by her crew, and feels blessed to be working with them, acknowledging how hard every one has worked. “They all have outstanding voices, and have been a fantastic cast,” she said.
To theater goers, Hooper says, “Be prepared to laugh, it’s a very clever musical.”