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25Jan

Harrisonville High School's The Addams Family Selected Reviews

The review by Aarika Wilson of Winnetonka High School is being forwarded to Cass Co Missourian.

WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?
 
That's the question that Gomez and Morticia Addams are asking themselves. 

Fog creeps from behind the curtain, revealing the kooky, spooky, and upside-down world of THE ADDAMS FAMILY by Harrisonville High School.
 
Originated from a single-panel cartoon published in The New Yorker, followed by a television series and two movies, THE ADDAMS FAMILY musical first hit the stage in 2010. The show tells the story of the now eighteen year old Wednesday Addams' peculiar love for oddly normal Lucas Beineke and the disapproval from the Addams, as they wonder "where did they go wrong." After all, to be happy is to be sad "When You're an Addams." Things quickly take a turn as Gomez promises to keep Wednesday and Lucas's engagement a secret from his wife, Morticia. The two families, the Addams and the Beinekes have a family dinner where Pugsley, Wednesday's younger brother, puts poison into the chalice during a game of Full Disclosure. 
 
Leading the production, Michael Schuhler III as Gomez Addams performs with clear diction, beautiful tone, and undeniable stage presence while portraying a suave, eccentric, and passionate persona. Alongside of Schuhler is Carolyn Schrock, portraying a stubborn, alluring, and sensual wife and mother who allows intense facials and powerful vocals to shine through even the darkest world of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. 
 
Supporting these peculiar yet stunning leads is Halle Keeney as Wednesday Addams. Keeney performs with beautiful vocals, articulate line delivery and body movement, allowing Keeney's character arc to be undeniable. Alongside Keeney is Clinton Howser as Uncle Fester. Howser's exceptional comedic timing and vocals allow a light-hearted persona shining brighter than his one true love, the moon. 
 
Another impressive aspect of the show is the costuming, done by Katie Semler. Semler's choice of color contrast--the Addams' grey tones and the Beinekes' yellow tones--show the drastic difference between both families and overall worlds. Another component that allows the difference between families is the set design, done by Lydia Newman. Newman continues the dark grey and black tones in the Addams household, allowing the Beinekes bright colored clothing to pop. 
 
Though at times the lighting cues were delayed when starting a scene, the lighting transitions during a scene were smooth and crisp. Another component standing out is the brilliant vocals from the Ancestors. However, due to lack of volume it is sometimes difficult to hear the beautiful tones. 
 
"Full disclosure," the production of THE ADDAMS FAMILY by Harrisonville High School is full of dark humor, passionate love, and the realization that love conquers all, even when you're an Addams. 

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The review by Erica Burnett of Winnetonka High School is being forwarded to North Cass Herald .

THEY'RE LYING AND THEY'RE LOVING

Gomez is hiding a secret from Morticia, Wednesday is engaged to a normal boy, Uncle Fester is in love with the moon, and Pugsley has stolen a potion from Grandma's cart! These are just some of the things going on onstage in Harrisonville High School's production of THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

The quirky and weird characters, originally created by Charles Addams, come to life in this musical adaption of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Morticia and Gomez Addams's daughter, Wednesday, has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, who comes along with a normal family. While the Beineke family is over for dinner, disaster strikes and secrets are exposed.      

Michael Schuhler III gives a talented and memorable performance as Gomez Addams. His spot-on accent and smooth movements, such as sliding onto the stage, add a special charm to Gomez. In the song "Not Today" Schuhler delivers an amazing vocal performance. Playing Gomez's wife, Morticia, is the vocal powerhouse Carolyn Schrock. Schrock demonstrates some of her acting skills by providing Morticia with elegance with consistent excellent facial expressions. She carries out impressive vocals throughout the entire show, especially in the song "Just Around the Corner."

Another talented vocalist is Rebekah Bartlett, who plays Alice Beineke. She demonstrates her impressive vocals in the song, "Waiting." Clinton Howser is transformed into Uncle Fester, and he does not disappoint. From a wig purposely falling off to funny feet carrying Uncle Fester to the moon, the audience is constantly filled with laughter from Howser's performance. Embodying the family's butler, Lurch, is Noah Collins, and he does an excellent job in maintaining his Frankenstein-like movements from the time he enters the stage to the time he exits.   

The show's use of beautiful backdrops while in the graveyard and forest do a fantastic job of setting the scene. The use of black lights made for a cool effect on the umbrellas used in the song "The Moon and Me" along with illuminating the Ancestors as ghosts during black outs. The props crew does a spectacular job with most props, and the standout ones are Grandma's potion and herb cart and the family paintings in the Addams house. Not all costumes are equally effective, but the detailing in the ensemble's outfits establish the time period with each individual character.

While some actors didn't fully communicate their character to the audience, others, such as the Mad Scientist, really do an excellent job of drawing the audience's attention. At times when characters entered there were some microphone issues and the characters were hard to hear. However, the issues were quickly resolved. During points throughout the show the energy was low, but, with songs such as "Full Disclosure" and "Tango De Amor," the energy is picked back up. 

Harrisonville High School's production of THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a performance filled with moments for everyone and shows that love can truly blossom anywhere.  

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The review by Rayaan Ekilah of Winnetonka High School is being forwarded to KC Star Online.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY - A STORY OF LOVE, FAMILY, AND TRADITION

The strangeness of meeting your significant other's family is often felt by many. Now take these same feelings and multiply it by ten: That is THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a humorous story about the importance of family, diversity, and truth.

Initially started by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, THE ADDAMS FAMILY takes a unique twist on typical American families by using what is common among them and turning it upside down. The satire behind this inverted family is the backbone of the comedy and is exactly what popularized this Gothic sub-genre. Since its debut, THE ADDAMS FAMILY has fostered television shows, movies, and of course, a musical. This story in particular follows Wednesday Addams, played by Halle Keeney, and her goal of having her and her love interest's families meet and bond together. The Harrisonville Wildcat Players perform this musical with enthusiasm and quality.

Despite the overall dark tone of the show, the uniqueness of the entire cast takes spotlight. The head of the Addams household, Gomez Addams, performed by Michael Schuhler III, and his alluring wife, Morticia Addams, performed by Carolyn Schrock, both lead the family with their exquisite acting, spectacular singing, and hilarious comedic timing. Keeney establishes the stony character of Wednesday in her acting and maintains it throughout the entire performance. Even in times where her character feels conflicted or is singing an emotional piece, that same stern attitude is present, showing great character consistency.

The supporting cast also establishes a great tone overall. The Ancestors, played by a variety of actors, have captured the skill of subtly interacting with the background without stealing the spotlight. Oftentimes, background actors will do actions that, although brief, may distract audience members. However, the cast knows exactly when to interact with each other at appropriate times and how to interact without distracting the audience.

Although the cues to turn on actors' microphones are sometimes off, the microphone quality paired with the sound quality and volume of the music was adjusted just right. In moments where actors have to compensate for the delayed microphones, they are effective at doing so. The practical effects are very enjoyable, and the simplicity of some of them add to the hilarious tone of the show.

The inclusion of smoke machines is a nice touch. However, there are times where the smoke feels a bit much in the audience. While some actors may have fallen a bit short with singing, the combined efforts of the entire cast brought the music to superb quality.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is an overall enjoyable show to watch. The diverse characters, wonderful music, and humorous dialogue all contribute to a show worth watching. As Gomez Addams will say, "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!"

About the Author

Rackers, Brad

Chair - FY20 Season

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