Musical Review: Don’t Miss Addams Family!

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Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This Tuesday I had the privilege of watching the last dress rehearsal for the upcoming musical The Addams Family. Since I had never seen the show, the movie or anything related to The Addams Family, I had a pretty open mind walking in. The countless hours the directors, pit, crew and cast put into this musical were evident because I absolutely loved it.

The pit started off the show, and I was already impressed with the pit within the first minute of their playing. It sounded like it was coming straight off a movie soundtrack. The musical would not have been the same if it wasn’t for the amazing pit.

The lighting was another thing that was just perfect. The musical was dark, so I thought it would be the lack of lighting that would add to it. I was wrong because the perfect amount of reds and blues did way more than no lighting would have done. The hours Jake Gerlikovski and his crew have put into so many productions at Notre Dame is beyond amazing and definitely pays off.

I really enjoyed High School Musical last year, and I had high expectations for the cast and the musical in general. The Addams Family definitely exceeded my expectations. The music was so catchy, and I’ve had “When You’re an Addams” stuck in my head since I heard it. The costumes were also stunning. Costumes can either add or subtract to making the show great, and these really added.

I was so impressed with the cast that I didn’t feel like I was even watching a high school’s performance of it. They acted like complete professionals, and no one missed a beat when singing, dancing or speaking.

I was never a big fan of big group numbers where an entire cast is singing. I always felt like the voices got lost in each other, and it didn’t have the same effect as solos or duets. This musical proved me wrong. The group numbers were phenomenal and left me speechless. I got goosebumps when they performed them.

Seeing a cast list doesn’t do justice to seeing the students actually play their parts. This cast fit their roles perfectly. The way they all portrayed their characters was amazing. There could not have been a better cast. I was expecting this musical to be rather serious, and I was definitely proven wrong. It was hilarious, and there were times, when I was sitting in an audience of one, that I was laughing out loud all by myself. I couldn’t help it!

Gomez, played by Eric Weycker, was definitely one of my favorites. He had so many one-line jokes that added to how funny the musical was. When he said a joke that he knew was funny, he’d laugh at himself just a bit too long that made the other characters uncomfortable but made me laugh. Weycker played such a great Gomez that I was having a hard time remembering if Weycker was made for the role or the role was made for Weycker.

Morticia, played by Abby Meyer, and Wednesday, played by Emily Seidl, were also phenomenal singers. Neither of them had really had starring roles before this year, and they definitely deserved these roles. Meyer’s voice gave me chills when she sang. She was perfect for the role of Morticia.

Fester, Gomez’s brother, had a whole side plot in the musical about his love for the moon. It was so funny, and Lelinski fit the role so well. He also danced at a few times, but his dance in the beginning was beyond funny. No one could have played this role better than Mr. NDA 2017 Ben Lelinski.

As always, I was incredibly impressed with how well the actors stayed in character while they were in the background. It never ceases to amaze me how well they do it. The little movements and facial expressions added to the main action instead of taking away from it. Lurch, played by Charles Peterson, was a perfect example of this. Lurch is a big character, yet doesn’t really have any lines. Peterson was able to develop this character without having a single line until a song at the end.

This musical is based on family values and the concept of being normal. It’s shown multiple times that the Addams and the Beinekes, the family of Lucas, played by Paul Gapinski, Wednesday’s boyfriend, are much more similar than they are different. “Being normal” is another phrase that is thrown around a lot. Both families are just trying to be normal for this one night as they meet each other for the first time, but what is normal? The Addams’ version of normal and the Beinekes’ version of normal are two very different things that really add to the plot of the musical.

The Beinekes were a very “normal” family from Ohio. Alice, played by Janine Moreno, was one of my favorite characters. She made me laugh so many times. She was the mother of Lucas, and she couldn’t help but come up with little rhymes while she talked. My favorite line was when Alice was fighting with her husband Hal, played by Jacob VanderLeest. She told him, “You want to act like a tool, go sleep in the shed.” Moreno really played up this role, and I loved it.

The Addams Family is a wonderful love and family story that is perfect for any age. It’s a story we all can relate to with a little dark twist that comes with the Addams. In a song towards the end, Gomez sums up the message pretty well. He sings, “Right and wrong…who’s to say…In every heaven, you find some hell and some more welcome in a farewell.”

Thank you to Mrs. Gilson, Mrs. Salerno and Father Brad for letting me come in to watch a dress rehearsal. Also a huge thank you to the cast, crew and pit for all the hours they put in; it definitely showed!

I very highly recommend going to see The Addams Family. You won’t regret it. Tickets can be bought at showtix4u.com. The performances are Thursday, January 18, at 7 p.m., Friday, January 19, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, January 20, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.