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Thomas A. Edison High School in Alexandria, Virginia, presented The Addams Family School Edison to the Cappies Critics on May 4, 2024. Here are the top two Cappies Critic reviews.

Cullan Kelley

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


Hold on to your assorted body parts! Bone-chilling thrills await in Thomas A Edison High School’s production of The Addams Family School Edition, a heartfelt tale of love, betrayal, and reconnection.


The Addams Family, originally a 1930s cartoon created by Charles Addams and then a 1964 TV series, debuted on the stage in Chicago with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. It then made its way to a national tour and the Broadway stage, albeit with significant musical changes. The show follows three parallel love stories over the course of an evening, stuck on the spooky, kooky estate of the Addams family.


Stealing the show as the commanding Morticia Addams, Nicoletta Pelekasis brought the very image of the terrifying, beautiful matron to the stage. Pelekasis’ graceful twists and strides accentuated her every movement, carrying a sense of refinement throughout the most chaotic of scenes. Pelekasis’ elegance was displayed throughout “Tango De Amor,” her peacemaking dance with her husband, as she gracefully swum through each dip and twirl. Pelekasis’ splendor was also exhibited vocally, with sultry notes conveying her deep betrayal at being lied to throughout “Just Around the Corner.”


Opposite Pelekasis was Christopher LaStrape as Gomez Addams, a charming husband caught between love for his wife and love for his daughter. LaStrape and Pelekasis played off each other beautifully, with Pelekasis’ demanding growls being met humorously by LaStrape’s overeager agreements. The power couple’s pairing was showcased marvelously in “Let’s Live Before We Die,” with their harmonies complementing their reconciliation vocally.


Sashaying through the show was Porter Bertman, as the fabulous Uncle Fester. Bertman’s confidence was present throughout both the entertaining “Fester’s Manifesto” and moving songs such as “The Moon and Me,” as was his skillful mastery of the choreography. Bertman’s campy accent only added to that confidence, as it never slipped through difficult vocal numbers.


Sophia Wiegold and Tara West led the costumes team in creating an immersive design for the production, with every detail considered. Each of the Addams Family’s ancestral ghosts were in different eras of stark white period attire, an element that added a hint of individuality to the large ensemble. Individual pieces such as the Moon’s dress also showed off this attention to detail, as when the dancer spun, the dress seemed to display different phases of the Moon. Even the smallest details were thought of – the rose on Morticia’s garter matched the bright red of Wednesday’s apple, representing hints of their rebellious but passionate cores buried under icy facades.


The eeriness of the show was greatly enhanced by the Hair and Makeup team (Zylee Sisson and Nicoletta Pelekasis). Every ancestor had pale, ghostly face paint to make them appear distant and faded under stage lights, and the living (or undecided) members of the Addams family were similar, although less pronounced. The Hair and Makeup team also made good use of contrast, with details such as Morticia’s lipstick providing an eye-catching flash of color and Lurch’s pale, ghastly face setting him apart from the rest of the living family members.


Thomas A Edison High School’s production of The Addams Family School Edition was a fun, fearsome, and fantastical story, teaching that love conquers all in the end.

Meg Hunter

The New School of Northern Virginia


They're creepy and they're kooky - it's the The Addams Family School Edition! First brought to life in the comic strips of Charles Addams, this delightful collection of oddballs has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows over the years, with the musical adaptation opening on Broadway in 2010. With their charming rendition of the iconic characters, the cast and crew of Thomas Edison's production can now claim to have added to that long tradition.


The building blocks for bringing The Addams Family to life were laid by the costumes crew (Sophia Wiegold and Tara West) and the hair and makeup crew (Zylee Sisson and Nicoletta Pelekasis). The costumes were loving recreations of the characters' classic looks, like Wednesday Addams' (Korina Horvat) black dress with a lacy white collar. In terms of hair and makeup, particular care was clearly paid with regards to Uncle Fester (Porter Bertman) and matriarch Morticia Addams (Nicoletta Pelekasis). Both had their faces made up to be deathly pale and donned a bald cap and a wig respectively, aiding them in embodying their characters' gleefully macabre nature.


Bertman as Fester provided a delightful performance, emphasizing Fester's outsized personality and cracking up the audience. His physicality, including frequent twirling and over-the-top hand gestures, helped him bring energy to the stage whenever he occupied it. His romance with the Moon was an endearing subplot complimented by an excellent turn as the celestial body by Zoey Hewton in the song "The Moon and Me." Tara West, playing Alice Beineke, one of the Addams' dinner guests, also had a standout moment during the song "Waiting," where she stood on a table and turned in fantastic, passionate vocals.


As the two reasons for the dinner between the Beinekes and Addamses, young couple Wednesday (Korina Horvat) and Lucas (Jackson Byrd), delivered convincing performances themselves. Horvat was especially good in moments with Wednesday's parents, as she tried to get them to understand her feelings for Lucas, while Bryd shone vocally during songs like "One Normal Night" and "Crazier Than You."


The heartbeat of the show, though, was of course the husband and wife duo, Gomez (Christopher LaStrape) and Morticia (Nicoletta Pelekasis) Addams. Their chemistry dazzled the audience during "Tango de Amor," where an impressive dance sequence choreographed by Cora Reese depicted them recommitting to their marriage. They each had standout solo moments too, with LaStrape displaying heartfelt sincerity as he counseled Wednesday and vowed to win Morticia back, and Pelekasis serving as the centerpiece of standout number "Just Around the Corner."


All in all, Edison's production of The Addams Family School Edition was a deeply enjoyable experience, once again proving that The Addams Family has stood the test of time.           


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