Theatre review: The Addams Family, the Musical

The Addams Family Musical maintained the humor and appeal found in Charles Addams’ classic series while simultaneously keeping the story fresh and modern. The lively opening number was bolstered by impeccable vocals and filled the cozy King’s Theatre in Glasgow’s city center instantly, immediately setting the tone for the electrifying performance that followed. Under the direction of Matthew White and production of the Ambassador Theatre Group, the cast transported audiences into the spooky yet hilarious world that the Addams’ Family occupies.

Set in a haunting New York City mansion, the play reintroduces the family with particular focus on the eldest daughter Wednesday, who is now a young woman instead of the dark child that audiences may formerly know her as. Wednesday has found love in the form of a normal guy from Ohio, and the dilemma unfolds as she tries introduce their two very different families. The antics that follow are nothing short of hilarious, thrilling and thoroughly ridiculous- a combination sure to captivate an audience of any variety.

The Addams’ Family was funny throughout and incorporated humor that entertained both young and mature audiences. Gomez Addams (Cameron Blakely) was the patriarch of the family, and kept the audience rolling with his wild antics and suggestive comedy. The chemistry between Gomez and his wife Morticia (Samantha Womack) added another engaging and humorous element to the show. The two seasoned performers delivered believable performances that perfectly rendered the classic, quirky traits of their characters.

Carrie Hope Fletcher, who played Wednesday Addams, was an especially stand out performer. Her powerhouse voice and captivating stage presence drew the audience in and held their attention throughout. The full force of her voice was first introduced in her solo Pulled, where the actress perfectly balanced the character’s inner conflict between her dark personality and the changes brought about by new-found love. Fletcher maintained commitment to character and incredible vocal presence throughout the show and was a key contributor to the production’s successful execution.

Scott Page stood in for Les Dennis as Uncle Fester and delivered a stellar performance. His rendition of the role was one of the most captivating elements of the show due to his superior vocals, strong comedy chops and energetic interaction with the audience as quasi-narrator of the story. Page did an excellent job of solidifying Fester’s character as an essential component of the production and maintained the character’s flair that is both unique and essential to the accurate portrayal Addams’ family’s eerie world.

The set was simple and visually sumptuous. The design perfectly captured the creepiness of the family’s aesthetic and allowed for seamless transitions between scenes that didn’t break the illusion for the audience. The detailed costumes reinforced the individual personalities of the characters and indicated the maturation that some characters – particularly Wednesday – had undergone since audiences has last seem them. The design and construction of the show stayed true to the traditional Addams’ family concept but modernized and evolved to reflect growth.

The orchestra added energy to the production in the way that only live music can. Classic instruments modernized by snappy beats and sharp percussion gave the score a modern and fresh feel. Composer Andrew Lippa’s numbers were engaging and exciting throughout, each one contributing to the story and bolstering the emotion of the scene. The ensemble was also particularly impressive; their collective sound backed each song perfectly and powerfully. The strength of the vocals and orchestration was rounded out by the varied and well-executed dancing that added flair to the numbers, making each musical piece a welcomed component of the production.

The Addams Family Musical was wildly entertaining throughout and showcased real talent. Each character was strongly executed, the vocals and orchestration were strong, and the design elements made the entire show truly come to life. The captivating production engaged the audience from start to finish. Humor was sprinkled through a fresh and contemporary plot. The show fused children’s entertainment with amusing writing that held the attention of adult audiences. The Addams’ Family Musical undoubtedly earns the title as a fun and professional show for the entire family. It provides the perfect excuse for an evening at the theatre that will be distinctively supernatural.

By Frances O’Steen