They’re creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky. One might even venture to say altogether ooky—the Addams Family.
America’s favorite Clan Macabre is taking to Sun Valley for their next morbid misadventure, St. Thomas Playhouse’s new production of the Broadway musical version, appropriately and simply titled “The Addams Family.”
The original Broadway production debuted in 2010, starring Tony winners Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia Addams.
Though it received a tepid response from theater critics, the musical was a massive box office success, grossing just behind “Wicked” and “The Lion King” for most of its 2010 run. It went on to stack up two Tony nominations as well as seven Drama Desk nominations and one win.
St. Thomas Playhouse’s Summer Theater Project assembles an ensemble of high school-age and young-adult actors to bring to life—or at the very least undeath—these beloved characters.
The musical provides a new, original story for the gothic ménage. Wednesday Addams, all grown up and just as torridly romantic as her parents, returns home with her new beau in tow. Much to Gomez and Morticia’s dismay, Wednesday has fallen for a mild-mannered, straightlaced Midwestern young man. He and his parents are the very picture of normal, and, of course, the Addamses are anything but.
Taylor Telford and Kagen Albright have taken on the roles of Morticia and Gomez, leading a cast of talented young area actors.
Fittingly for this superstitious selection, “The Addams Family” marks the 13th annual Summer Theater Project, which the Playhouse holds simultaneously with its summer camp, Company B.
“The idea behind the Summer Theater Project was always to have people who were either studying in college or pursuing acting as a profession mentor young people who are interested in doing that,” project Director Sara Gorby said. “The age group in this project is really special.”
This mentorship element bleeds over into Company B as well, as many of the cast members also work in the camp.
Albright, who has worked with Company B for five years, reflected on the growing and intertwining legacies of the two programs.
“It’s really great to watch kids who go to the camp and gradually progress into the Summer Theater Project,” he said, adding that “it’s really touching” to see them develop as actors.
Thematically speaking, “The Addams Family” perfectly underlines both that sentiment and the overall mission of St. Thomas Playhouse. Beneath its gloomy façade, “ultimately, it’s about love—love in all forms,” Gorby said. “In the Addams family, people really get to love whomever and however they want to and everyone comes into acceptance. I think that’s an important message.”
Since the Playhouse is already pumping a healthy helping of Halloween into June, it’s also encouraging audience members to come in costume, promising one free baked good from the concessions table to every attendee in costume.
“The Addams Family” will kick off Wednesday, June 19, and run for four nights, concluding on Saturday, June 22. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. at the Community School Theatre in Sun Valley.
Tickets are $12 for children under 18 and $20 for adults. Visit stthomasplayhouse.org to purchase.