Chantilly High School
Every girl knows how difficult it is to get her parents' blessing for marriage -- let alone when her family is dark, twisted, and obsessed with all things macabre. Well, this was the case for Wednesday Addams in the humorous production of The Addams Family at Clarksburg High School.
In 1933, cartoonist Charles Addams created his first single-panel gag cartoon called The Addams Family. Since its publication in The New Yorker, many spinoffs of the original cartoon and story have been created, including this musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2010. The story follows young Wednesday Addams as she tries to gain her family's blessing to marry her smart and respectable boyfriend, Lucas. However, the Addamses are not your everyday "normal" family, as Lucas' family is. They have an infatuation with the torturous, the gory, and the maniacal. Both families' lives are turned upside down when the clans are introduced at a family dinner that is anything but normal.
The entire cast of Clarksburg High School's The Addams Family did a solid job of maintaining the consistency and high energy needed to pull off this show successfully. Additionally, most of the actors made great character choices that played well off each other and fabricated convincing chemistry. As Gomez, Saidou Sosseh excellently portrayed the goofy paternal character through his huge physicality and liveliness, but also did a great job of being able to tone it down for sincere moments with his daughter and wife. Likewise, Sofia Tobares skillfully brought sass and wit to her character, Morticia, and captivated the audience with her beautiful performance in songs such as "Just Around the Corner." Yet daughter Wednesday, played by Olivia Luzquinos, contributed some of the show's strongest vocals, as shown in her performances of "Pulled" and "Crazier Than You."
A clear audience favorite was Fester, portrayed exceptionally by Treshon Sherwood. The actor's over-the-top choices gave this narrator character a sense of childish exuberance, which enthralled audiences and had them laughing every time he appeared, especially with his signature song, "The Moon and Me." Not to mention, the consistency with Fester's animated, hunchback depiction was very impressive. Another character who created abundant humorous moments through consistency was Lurch, played by Dale Auen. His slow-moving, constantly expressionless face -- and the surprise of his very low, yet excellent, voice -- delighted the audience.
In addition to the strong performances, most of the technical aspects of the show were quite impressive as well. Several of the costumes, including Morticia's signature dress, were handmade by Anne Avendt. Also, the monster under Pugsley's bed was a well-executed and pleasant surprise for the audience. Additionally, the choice to use projections as a backdrop for some scenes was a unique and clever decision carried out by Noah Abrams.
Clarksburg High School's performance of The Addams Family was a solid show with exquisite acting, strong vocals, and appreciable technological elements. Put together, they effectively captivated the audience in the dark, spooky, and hilarious world of the Addams family.
West Springfield High School
When you're an Addams, you need to have a taste for death. This spooky family has always had a knack for the dark side of life. Clarksburg High School's production of The Addams Family brings together the bunch for a performance that's mysterious, spooky, and altogether ooky.
The Addams Family began its long journey in 1938, when cartoonist Charles Addams began publishing his single-panel comics in The New Yorker. The fictitious family quickly gained popularity, inspiring portrayals on television, film, and stage. The musical adaption of the Addams Family debuted on Broadway in 2010, going on to win both Drama League and Drama Desk Awards. The successful musical follows a gothic family, the Addamses, as their daughter Wednesday falls in love with a normal boy from Ohio. Crisis unfolds as the two families meet, and the night only gets crazier from there.
As Wednesday's sword-wielding father, actor Saidou Sosseh commanded the stage with his comedic timing and melodramatic physicality. Although Gomez was a comedic character, Sosseh revealed his more serious, vocal side in numbers like "Happy/Sad." Portraying his loyal and passionate wife, Morticia, was junior Sofia Tobares, who demonstrated tremendous stage presence and confidence throughout the night.
Playing lovestruck Wednesday was Olivia Luzquinos, who captured the audience's attention in numbers such as "Pulled." Luzquinos showed off incredible vocal range, all while carrying out complicated dance numbers. Together with her boyfriend Lucas, played by Mateo Ferro, the couple effectively demonstrated the chemistry of a forbidden teenage love.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Clarksburg's production was the ensemble of undead ancestors. The group exploded onto the stage with energy, always ready for the next number. Even without dialogue, each ancestor had a distinct character that added something new to the production. Plus, the ensemble's beautiful harmonies blended with the rest of the cast's voices to provide well-rounded songs.
An interesting addition to the production was the inclusion of American Sign Language interpreters in every show. The interpreters carefully translated every scene and song, encouraging an inclusive atmosphere where everyone could enjoy the show. In addition, technical elements such as set and projections helped bring the Addams family to life. A carefully designed multi-level set allowed the actors to get creative with blocking. The crew's use of projections caught the audience's attention and added believability to sets throughout the show.
Every Addams hopes for darkness, grief, and unspeakable sorrow, but audiences did not tend toward those emotions at Clarksburg High School's production of The Addams Family. With talented actors and a dedicated crew, this show was far more likely to warm people's hearts.