The Addams Family – The Metropolitan Musical Theatre Co

The Addams Family – The Metropolitan Musical Theatre Co

Director Carolyn Adams cast this TV-derived musical with care and success. The result was a vibrant, buoyant and entertaining romp, thoroughly enjoyed by the large audience.

The whole cast looked and sounded good, and ‘dressed the stage’ delightfully. Carmel Vistoli’s costuming was strikingly appropriate and helped delineate both principal characters and the supporting ensemble. The casts’ physicality, too, was critical in the show’s success. Full credit, there, to Jacinta Vistoli’s inventive and studied choreography of both the dance routines and the illustrative movement of the characters. Often, when the action was played on a bare stage before a simple black backcloth, the principals’ dialogue or song was visually supported by two or more well placed and suitably choreographed members of the ensemble. Each member of that supporting ensemble of Addams ancestors had a character credit in the programme and maintained that often stylised character throughout. It was a real strength of the production.

MD Jane Feast blended the voices and band very well. At all times the singing was articulate and purposeful, and the band supported the voices and action appropriately. Early on the band experienced some pitch issues but that generally settled down after the first couple of numbers.

The principal cast captured the characters’ nature perfectly. Ben Todd was joyful, natural and effective as Gomez and got lots of laughs with his polished comic timing. He put his experience and stagecraft to very good use both in his well-paced dialogue and his character-filled songs. His duets with Morticia Live Before We Die and Tango De Amore were especially affecting. Selena Britz was a captivating Morticia. She had palpable strength of character and used that with skill in relating to the others around her, all the more impressive since Morticia’s character is inherently so self-obsessed. Her song (Death Is) Just around The Corner with a chorus of the Ancestors, was a musical and comic hit, and she played the dominant partner to Gomez with charm and style.

The other Addams family members also impressed. Vanessa Crouch maintained a lovely balance of sternness and vulnerability as Wednesday, Jon McKay was an effusive and very funny Fester, Gomez’s soft-hearted brother, while Elizabeth Slee was very entertaining as the energetic Grandma who even managed to offend her own strange family. Elijah Proctor was a delight as young Pugsley, and was particularly effective when feeling sorry for himself, such as in his duet with Grandma, What If. Usually in the background, Jason Clark was a silently grim and deliberately not-so-menacing Lurch.

The Addams’ version of normality was established early, so when the ‘straight’ Ohio Beinecke family arrived for dinner, it was they who seemed the unusual ones. They clearly showed how out of place they felt. Tom Sheldon was naive and genuine as Lucas, Wednesday’s love interest, while Andrew Mair was suitably discomforted and perplexed as his father, Mal. Kristel Dally, as Alice, achieved the difficult task of transforming her character, once drugged with one of Grandma’s potions, to being outrageous angry, yet to us, very funny.

This was a very entertaining and well-focussed performance, smoothly combining strong acting, movement, music, energy and fun. It was a sound choice by The Met, as witnessed by the large appreciative audience of broadly mixed ages.


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This production was reviewed by:

David Smith
David Smith
David’s long involvement in community theatre began in Adelaide and continued for some decades in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Kapunda and the Barossa, and for one year, McAllen, Texas, USA. He is a performer, director, writer and former secondary school Drama teacher. He sings in the Adelaide Harmony Choir.

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