November 30, 2011
I had the chance to attend the opening of the Addams Family at Proctors last night. The show's only running through Dec. 4, but if you have the chance to catch a performance and are in the mood for a fun program that doesn't take itself too seriously, it's certainly deserving of a look.
Those familiar with Addams Family lore should feel right at home with this show, but those who haven't a clue won't be lost either. I had only passing knowledge of the back story, having never caught the movies or TV show, but the general themes are pretty easy to pick up and the characters are iconic.
This story of star cross'd lovers does start rather slow. Halfway through the first act things were honestly looking quite grim, and not in the way the show's creators intended. The actors performed more than ably, but since many of the Addams characters are so unaminated the audience was stuck watching an unmoving character sometimes. Wednesday Addams was standing in place and singing for minutes on end, at one point. This is part of the punchline for the Addams Family, I understand, but it's one running joke that does not translate well to the stage.
Fortunately, things pick right up as the show moves along, and I was left in anticipation at the intermission. The second act has some nicely choreographed numbers, catchy tunes and clever clever special effects. Some of the more topical humor I could have done without, as it jarred you out of the moment quickly (all Charlie Sheen jokes should forevermore be banned from public, by the way). But on the whole, the jokes should be enjoyable for most audiences, including adolescents--the odd sexual reference and tongue-in-cheek macabre setting would not fare well with very young viewers.
Though some parts of the script were touch and go, consistent throughout were the performances offered by the cast. Everyone was stellar, but Blake Hammond in the part of Uncle Fester and Cortney Wolfson in the role of Wednesday Addams deserve particular note.
You could do far, far worse with an evening than heading to Proctors to take in this playful show, and judging from the reactions of those around me, I'm not alone in that sentiment. See proctors.org for show times and more information.