“The Ad­dams Fam­ily”

Ken­wood gets spooky with pre­sen­ta­tion of

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO

gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

The cast and crew of Ken­wood High School’s “The Ad­dams Fam­ily” are dis­cussing the best way to chain one of their ac­tors to a cork board.

They are hard at work trans­form­ing the school’s au­di­to­rium into a dun­geon and their high school stu­dents to a creepy cast of char­ac­ters for their lat­est mu­si­cal stage pro­duc­tion, set to premiere this week.

The show is au­then­ti­cally Ad­dams, even open­ing with that

fa­mous four-note-fol­lowed-by-two-claps mu­si­cal beat.

The Ken­wood cast does an ex­cel­lent job em­body­ing the spir­its of these spir­its, each adding some­thing unique to their own in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the iconic char­ac­ters.

The story cen­ters around a now eigh­teenyear-old Wed­nes­day Ad­dams, played by Emily Wat­son, who strug­gles with con­fess­ing to her macabre and mor­bid fam­ily that she is en­gaged to a (gasp!) nor­mal per­son.

She laments her plight with the song “Pulled” ex­pertly and pow­er­fully sung by Wat­son, where she out­lines how she is be- ing pulled away from her life of dark­ness and gore to one of sun­shine and butterflies. Her brother Pugs­ley, played by Fran­cis Bell lis­tens in and has his own wor­ries about los­ing his sis­ter to love.

Mean­while, Gomez (Con­nor Wantz) hu­mor­ously fum­bles while try­ing to keep the secret en­gage­ment from his wife and fam­ily ma­tri­arch Mor­ti­cia (Jas­myne Wash­ing­ton).

Wed­nes­day and her fi­ancee, Lu­cas (Trevor Mer­ritt) plan to break the news at a com­mu­nal dinner with their re­spec­tive fam­i­lies, his from Ohio and hers, liv­ing in a hun­dredyear-old man­sion pos­sessed by spir­its and home to a col­lec­tion of tor­ture de­vices. What could go wrong?

The play fol­lows the an­tics of these two dis­parate fam­i­lies as they try to rec­on­cile their dif­fer­ences for the sake of their chil­dren, to vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess.

The drama cul­mi­nates dur­ing a mu­si­cal num­ber called “Full Dis­clo­sure”, where the dinner at­ten­dants must share secrets that open up a Pan­dora’s box of trou­bles, even tear­ing apart Lu­cas’ seem­ingly squeaky­clean par­ents.

Fam­ily is tricky, whether you’re an Ad­dams or not. At the mu­si­cal’s cli­max, the three cou­ples at the crux of the story go their sep­a­rate ways fol­low­ing a litany of ar­gu­ments where com­mu­ni­ca­tion breaks down and secrets get ex­posed.

The sec­ond act asks: Is there any re­cov­ery from this? Can these torn apart fam­i­lies try to rec­on­cile with the events of its disastrous dinner date? You’ll have to see the play to find out!

The play, at its core, is a mu­si­cal com­edy, and the stu­dents play up the dra­mat­i­cally ab­surd sce­nar­ios with great fun. How­ever, the play’s con­clu­sion il­lu­mi­nates the core of what keeps all fam­i­lies to­gether- love.

It’s about love, all of it. It’s the foibles and fum­bles and awk­ward con­ver­sa­tions and tense ar­gu­ments and the mo­ments of joy and ex­cite­ment that come with be­ing a fam­ily. You may not have a a pale-faced zom­bie but­ler or a crazed bald un­cle who is in love with the moon, but any mem­bers of the au­di­ence will find some­thing in com­mon with the Ad­dams.

The other players are Abi­gail Bruzdzinki, Je­myrah Speller, Tay­lor Cheaton, Kimi Cook, Jenna Michaels, Karen Hayes-Karn, Ash­leyann Reid, Ash­ley Steven­son, Jada Steven­son as the An­ces­tors, Matt Ty­d­ings as Lurch, Tamia Spires as Un­cle Fes­ter, Vic­to­ria Dil­ley and Eric Wa­ters as Alice and Mal Beineke, and Saija Scott as Grandma.

“The Ad­dams Fam­ily” will be per­formed at Ken­wood High School on Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 7th, Fri­day, De­cem­ber 8th at 7:00 pm and Satur­day, De­cem­ber 9th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Stu­dent tick­ets are $5 and general ad­mis­sion is $8.

The cast and crew of Ken­wood High School’s pro­duc­tion of “The Ad­dams Fam­ily”

The ghostly An­ces­tors that re­side in the Ad­dams house­hold.

Wed­nes­day (Emily Wat­son) tor­tures her brother Pugs­ley, played by Fran­cis Bell.

Con­nor Wantz and Jas­myne Wash­ing­ton as Gomez and Mor­ti­cia Ad­dams.

PHO­TOS BY GIANNA DECARLO

Emily Wat­son as Wed­nes­day Ad­dams

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