Jillian Jasner of Eastern Regional High School
"When you're an Addams," there's no such thing as a secret! Between an emotional teenage daughter, a son obsessed with torture, and a grandmother who might not even be part of the family, the Addams are facing some serious issues. Rancocas Valley Regional High School's production of The Addam's Family was so phenomenal that it almost seemed supernatural.
The Addam's Family began as a single-panel cartoon strip before it blossomed into several film, television, and theatrical adaptations. The musical opened on Broadway in 2010 and ran for a year and a half, during which it was nominated for 2 Tony awards and won a Drama Desk award for outstanding set production. The show depicts The Addams, a macabre, gothic, and highly unusual family, whose daughter, Wednesday, has fallen in love with a normal boy from Ohio - the family's worst nightmare.
Rancocas Valley's The Addams Family was anchored by a strong ensemble and witty one-liners. The cast made their production unique through references to politics and pop culture, which gave every audience a slightly different show. The spookiness of the set and coordination of the costumes allowed for individuality among the actors without detracting from the cohesiveness of the overall production.
The chemistry between Loveon Sanders-Schmidt and Brendan Collins, who played Morticia and Gomez Addams, respectively, was undeniable. Collins wowed audiences with his impeccable comedic timing and impressive vocal range, while Sanders-Schmidt entranced playgoers with her smooth acting and sultry stage presence. Also worth mentioning is Liam Gonzalez's spunky portrayal of Fester, which earned many laughs from the audience.
The entire "red cast" enhanced the production with incredible vocals. In her portrayal of Alice, Alanna Burden, stunned the audience. With her strong belt and careful inflection in numbers such as "Waiting" and "Crazier than You". Wednesday, played by Jenna Springer, was amusing and playful in her role, and Elijah Norman provided an impressive, comical performance as her more relatable counterpart, Lucas.
Rancocas Valley's stage crew and sound-and-light team were seamless in their transitions from scene to scene. As the show progressed, the lighting shifted to match the moods, jokes, and even costumes of the characters. The ancestors' makeup and costumes were individual to each actor but still gave them a uniform look.
This production is difficult to put on, but Rancocas Valley Regional High School made it look easy. The cast was talented, the set was eerie, and the show was fun; the Red Devils' The Addams Family certainly did not make for "One Normal Night."
Erin Nevin of Lindenwold High School
"Full disclosure", Rancocas Valley Regional High School's production of "The Addams Family" was every bit as creepy and comedic as the original show entailed.
Based on the original characters created by Charles Addams, the 2010 Broadway musical, "The Addams Family," is centered around the family years in the future where a grown-up Wednesday Addams has found love in her beau, Lucas Beineke. The two wish to marry, but with Wednesday telling her father, Gomez, to lie to her mother, Morticia, trouble is stirred up when the Addams and the Beinekes come together for dinner.
Brendan Collins and Leveon Sanders-Schmidt, leading the production as Gomez and Morticia respectively, had an undeniable chemistry onstage. The two were lovingly hilarious and both incredibly talented. In songs like "Not Today" and "Secrets," their powerful vocals and undeniable stage presence filled the auditorium and rattled the bones of audience-goers. Not to mention their wild tango skills in "Tango de Amor" that had people clapping mid-number.
In the supporting cast were a number of amazing actors! Much like Collins and Sanders-Schmidt, Wednesday and Lucas as played by Jenna Springer and Elijah Morman were standouts in their adventures through young love as shown by their duet, "Crazier Than You." Uncle Fester as played by Liam Gonzalez and the Grandma who was played by Madeline Hynes were both hilarious, always gaining a chuckle from nearly every viewer. But one can't forget the elder Beinekes, Mal and Alice played by Ryan Hans and Alanna Burden. After a turn of events during their dinner that causes Burden's character to become less than chipper, both Hans and Burden aid in adding another comedic layer to the Springer and Morman duet.
A huge part of the show were the Ancestors who, although the audience had trouble hearing some of their well-learned harmonies, their presence in each scene was noted, both in the small ensemble numbers and in two windows cut into the main set to resemble paintings.
Behind the scenes, though, the show couldn't be complete without the aid of the stage manager, Michaela Belton, and others, like Aiden McCleery who created and managed the lighting and Vivian Bui and Emma Hutz who controlled the sounds. Of course, no show would be entirely complete without the makeup. Overseen by Jayden Dale, the Ancestors and the multiple leads had scarily beautiful makeup resembling that of the undead.
"The Addams Family" has become an American high school staple ever since the rights were released and after people saw Rancocas Valley's production of it, it's clear as to why.
Amanda Pescatore of Delsea Regional High School