Spooks, spec­tres and The Ad­dams Fam­ily

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

HEY’RE creepy and they’re kooky and now The Ad­dams Fam­ily can add stylish to their reper­toire of traits.

The stand­ing ova­tion as the hit Broad­way mu­si­cal opened at Syd­ney’s Capi­tol The­atre on Satur­day night was loud enough to wake the dead.

Based on Charles Ad­dams’ macabre car­toons, which in turn in­spired the 1960s TV sit­com, The Ad­dams Fam­ily is a tonguein-cheek as­sault of ghoul­ish one-lin­ers.

A clever use of cur­tain­ing frames the mu­si­cal as a comic book, but what gives ex­tra weight is a story about trust and loy­alty from writ­ers Mar­shall Brickman and Rick Elice.

The plot is based around Wed­nes­day Ad­dams, played by Tea­gan Wouters, fall­ing in love with a re­spectable young man Lu­cas Beineke (Tim Mad­dren) and beg­ging her par­ents for a ‘‘nor­mal’’ night at an in­tro­duc­tory din­ner with his fam­ily.

The well-mean­ing Gomez Ad­dams (John Wa­ters) keeps news of their en­gage­ment from his wife Mor­ti­cia (Chloe Dal­limore), but his lies only lead to a se­ries of blun­ders as re­la­tion­ships are pushed to the limit.

Fol­low­ing luke­warm re­views when the show opened on Broad­way in 2010, in­com­ing di­rec­tor Jerry Zaks promised Aus­tralian au­di­ences a ‘‘best ever’’ ver­sion of The Ad­dams Fam­ily. His rewrites have paid off.

There is a juicier arc be­tween Gomez and Mor­ti­cia with the two leads shar­ing a siz­zling chem­istry, mainly through their danc­ing. Former Bris­bane boy Rus­sell Dyk­stra is cute as Fester Ad­dams, his ser­e­nad­ing of the moon one of the mu­si­cal high­lights from com­poser An­drew Lippa.

Ka­t­rina Re­tal­lick is the sur­prise package as un­der-the-thumb Alice Beineke. Her big num­ber, Wait­ing, is a show­stop­per, and a cat­a­lyst for her bor­ing hus­band Mal Beineke (Tony Har­vey) to refind his spark.

Jokes that fall flat­ter than Lurch’s singing de­liv­ery only add to a com­edy that never takes it­self se­ri­ously, for there are scores more gags that hit the mark.

De­spite oc­ca­sion­ally touch­ing on the fragility of our ex­is­tence, most poignantly in the Mor­ti­cia-led song Death Is Just Around The Cor­ner, this is a show for the fam­ily that is burst­ing with life.

plays Syd­ney’s Capi­tol The­atre. Visit ad­dams­fam­i­lythe­mu­si­cal.com.au for de­tails.

(from left) Blake Hur­ford (Pugs­ley), Mered­ith O’Reilly (Grandma), Chloe Dal­limore (Mor­ti­cia), John Wa­ters (Gomez), Ben Hud­son (Lurch), Tea­gan Wouters (Wed­nes­day) and Rus­sell Dyk­stra (Un­cle Fester).

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