‘The Addams Family’ haunts Erie Playhouse


While this weather may have you feeling dark and gloomy, the newest production at The Erie Playhouse can bring a little laughter out of this disposition.

While this new musical may be altogether “ooky,” “The Addams Family” leaves audiences hysterically laughing for a good majority of the show.

If you’re unfamiliar with “The Addams Family,” either watch a couple of episodes, see the movie or quickly glance at the Wikipedia page. You’ll get a lot more out of the musical.

The show begins with the Addams reuniting with the deceased members of the family at the end of the fall season (“When You’re an Addams”). The ghosts are summoned in a lengthy dance number, and the rest of the company definitely adds substance to the song.

As the ghosts go to return to the grave, they realize that the gate is closed and they cannot return. Uncle Fester reveals that they need to help with an odd predicament: Wednesday is in love.

From this simple plot, conflict erupts and hilarity ensues.

The Addams invite the family of Wednesday’s love interest, Lucas Beineke, for dinner that night. Wednesday reveals to her father, Gomez, that she is engaged to Lucas and she needs the families to get along at the dinner. However, Gomez cannot tell his wife, Morticia, about the engagement or she’ll try to meddle.

Gomez struggles with the conflict of keeping a promise to his daughter and keeping a secret from his wife.

On top of that, the Beinekes are a conservative family from Ohio, which will certainly clash with the creepy and kooky Addams family.

A vast majority of the cast are playhouse veterans and it shows. The comedic timing needs to be precise and the cast delivers each line well.

Richard Davis stands out as the flamboyant and hysterical Uncle Fester. Though his character may not be involved in many of the active parts of the show, his physicality helps to set him apart.

“The Addams Family” uses some unique technical aspects that help make the show more mysterious and spooky.

A couple of graveyard scenes emit a fog, which looks cool, but can be a bit irritating if you’re wearing contacts or have a slight tickle in your throat.

Another memorable technical aspect occurs in a scene where one character starts floating in mid-air. Though cool, it’s pretty clear that the head and the “body” are two separate entities at that time.

Lastly, I’m not entirely sure if it’s because of proximity, but often voices will echo on stage in a way that they clearly weren’t supposed to. It could be a bit distracting at points.

However, on the bright side, the playhouse mics do not go in and out like they often do.“ The Addams Family” truly deserves praise. The script is well-written, the cast has a lot of talent and the jokes will leave audiences cackling.

The show continues at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays through March 1 at the Erie Playhouse.


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