Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Addams Family—Battle Ground Drama Club—Clark County

Family is…as Family does!
This musical, based on the popular TV series of some years ago, was written by Marshall J. Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and based on characters created by Charles Addams.  It is directed by Stephan “Cash” Henry, music directed by Darcy Schmitt and choreography by Cassidy MacAdam (also, “Mortica”) with set, art and costume design by Sundance Wilson Henry.  It is playing in The Lair at Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main St., in Battle Ground, WA.  The show runs until May 13th.  For more information, e-mail the director at henry.stephan@battlegroundps.org.

Families are a complicated stew.  You could reflect on TV’s wholesome image of “The Brady Bunch” or “Father Knows Best,” et. al. of several years ago.  Or maybe you’d sprinkle it with spicy seasoning from “The Godfather’s” ilk or possibly, “The Lion in Winter” of medieval times, professing “…what family doesn’t have its ups and downs.”  And then you have the undead, outrageous, Addams clan…and you couldn’t get nuttier than that!

But, to be serious, for just a short moment, Henry, the director, has proffered a sobering thought as, despite everything, families are, including this one, a heritage of honor where, “the history of the ancestors is remembered fondly and with reverence in this household, and the children know the importance of who they and where they come from.  There is pride in this family:  Pride in self, pride in each other, and pride in their shared history.”  The true founders of this country, the Native Americans, follow this philosophy.  Asian, African-American and Latino cultures also honor their Past.  But it seems that many Americans choose to dishonor their family history by current violence and hatred and shutting out of our lives and country many cultures we can learn from!  Okay, with that in mind, I’ll get off my soap box now and we can move forward with the fun….

In case you’re one of the few who are not aware of the Family, here is a quick run-down.  The patriarch is Gomez (Skyler Denfeld), who is a horny devil and is, almost always, truthful.  His wife is Morticia (Cassidy MacAdam), a very alluring, femme-fatal.  Their children are their daughter, Wednesday (Lauren Southwick), a morbid sort who secretly yearns to be “normal.”  Then there is their son, Pugsley (Jack Harvison), who enjoys being tortured in his spare time, as well as needling his sister.

Uncle Fester (Jaden Denfeld), brother of Gomez, communes with the spirits of their ancestors and has a secret love of a lunar capacity.  Granny (Danielle Morgan), assumedly Gomez’s mother, is an herbalist, or better known in the rural parts, as a witch.  She has potions and spells at her disposal and, in the wrong hands, can be quite…revealing.  And, lastly, there is their beloved servant, Lurch (Ethan Floyd), a zombie, who has a rather exasperating language barrier because of that.  All in all, they reside in a spooky old mansion and they are--The Addams Family.

Well, all is going along as per expected, when Wednesday suddenly falls in love with one of the “normals,” a young man named, Lucas (Noah Plummer), and they want to get married.  But that means introducing the families and there could be a bit of a disconnect because of life styles, as you might expect.  Lucas’s father, Mal (Andre Roy), is a control-freak, and his repressed wife, Alice (Katie Carter), are invited to dinner where all hell breaks loose.  Even the spirits of the ancestors are engaged to help, but will it all end…“happily ever after?”  Will Fester be united with his lunar babe?  Will the Dance of Love be enough for Gomez to win over his wife?  Will the Truth Game reveal family secrets?  Will Lurch finally find his voice?  Stay tuned and see this exciting episode of…The Adams Family, snap, snap!

Although there are no truly memorial songs from this show, the music therein fits perfectly to the story.  Gomez is great singing, “Trapped” and “Happy Sad.”  Mortica is mysterious with her “Secrets” and “Just Around the Corner.”  Wednesday is conflicted in her “Pulled” song.  Pugsley has his moment in, “What If.”  Fester is feisty in, “The Moon and Me.”  And, especially Alice, is terrific in her rendition of “Waiting.”  The dance numbers, choreographed by MacAdam, are all very cool, especially in “The Moon and Me,” and “Tango De Amor.”  And the chorus is super.

S. Denfeld is wonderful as the maniacal, mischievous, milk-toast of a husband.  And MacAdam is appropriately sexy, demanding and mysterious as the wife.  She does a fine job in her first choreography experience and hope she continues in this field.  One of the best set and costumes designs Sundance Wilson has created, as they all look like they’re ripped from the series.  And “Cash” and Schmitt have done their usual fantastic job of directing these youth.  I hope the cast/crew knows how lucky they are to have such leaders!

A side note, these folks have been chosen to participate in an Arts Festival in Scotland in August and have raised over $100,000 toward it.  They still have only $2,000 left to raise for their trip, so hope some generous individuals or organizations can help out.  They deserve it!


I recommend this play.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.