Cast mas­ters macabre mad­cap mu­si­cal

The Tribune (NZ) - - THEATRE - RE­VIEWED BY RICHARD MAYS

Not ev­ery show has a live ‘dead’ cho­rus. But then The Ad­dams Fam­ily Mu­si­cal is, well, dif­fer­ent.

Based on the macabre car­toon char­ac­ters of Charles Ad­dams, the Pahiatua Reper­tory pro­duc­tion of this 2010 Broad­way mu­si­cal opened its three-cen­tre tour in Feild­ing.

Goth girl Wed­nes­day Ad­dams is in love – but not with any crea­ture of the night. She’s fallen for Lu­cas, a ‘nor­mal’ stu­dent from the mid-west who jug­gles jobs to keep him­self sol­vent.

Wed­nes­day fig­ures it’s time for his ul­tra-straight folks to meet her weird ex­tended whanau. That in­cludes wacko Un­cle Fes­ter (who has fallen in love with the moon), de­mented old grandma, Lurch the zom­boid but­ler, and her younger masochis­tic brother, Pugs­ley.

Mom Mor­ti­cia is bound not to ap­prove, so she solicits her fa­ther Gomez to aid and abet her cause.

The rest is clever but trad rom­sit-com stuff as the course of true love never does run smooth – even for the par­ents of Wed­nes­day and Lu­cas.

Hay­ley Tin­ning’s Wed­nes­day im­presses with her dis­tinc­tive voice and pres­ence. As the swordswish­ing Gomez, Mark Mo­ran af­fects an ex­cel­lent ac­cent – a pity the songs rarely let him show off his voice. Chore­og­ra­pher, cos­tu­mier, makeup su­per­vi­sor and co-pro­ducer, Vanessa Coogan was a dis­tracted Mor­ti­cia. Mind you, the cos­tumes and make-up are rather splen­did.

Fes­ter was aimi­ably and tune­fully han­dled by Danny Good­man, with nice touches from Adam Ar­buth­nott as Lu­cas, Hannah Mills and Nick Perry as his out-of-their-depth par­ents, and young Jack Tanker­s­ley’s Pugs­ley.

Gor­don Alve’s slick an­i­mated back-screened graph­ics and sets add ex­tra and por­ta­ble di­men­sion to this more kooky than spooky mu­si­cal.

Not a par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable or catchy score, the pro­duc­tion wouldn’t have missed trim­ming a few verses or even the odd song, par­tic­u­larly from the rou­tine sec­ond half res­o­lu­tion.

Among the stars, Un­cle Fes­ter (Danny Good­man) croons for his love, the Moon, in a scene from the Pahiatua Reper­tory pro­duc­tion of The Ad­dams Fam­ily Mu­si­cal.

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