Wednesday, March 8, 2017

THE ADDAMS FAMILY


Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice - Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Directed by Stephen Pike - Musical Direction by Matthew Webster
Choreographed by Annette Sharpe -Set Design by Brian Sudding
Costume Design by Christine Pawlicki and Barbara Denham
Presented by Queanbeyan/Palerang Regional Council
The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre until 19th March

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

A hand appears through the curtain – Dada Da Dum - and the entire audience, young and old, spontaneously respond, Click Click, and are immediately transported into the bizarre and macabre world of the Addams Family. Uncle Fester, Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandma and Lurch all come to life in Stephen Pike’s slick and stylish production of Andrew Lippa’s funny, subversive musical which slyly examines notions of normality.

When daughter, Wednesday (Rachel Thornton) confides in her father, Gomez (Gordon Nicholson) that she’s in love with ‘normal’ Lucas (Liam Downing) and implores Gomez not to tell Morticia (Lainie Hart) until they meet Lucas’s family, the scene is set for a series of hilarious confrontations and revelations as both families wrestle with the differences in their lifestyles.

In a strong ensemble cast, Gordon Nicholson is superb as Gomez. His comedy timing throughout is brilliant, and his songs superbly articulated, but he also manages to tug the heartstrings as he offers his daughter some fatherly advice in “Happy, Sad”.  No less impressive is Lainie Hart, hilarious and spookily glamorous as Morticia. Tim Stiles gives a scene stealing performance as Uncle Fester, and his singing of the beautifully staged “The Moon and Me” is one of highlights of the show.

Rachel Thornton and Liam Downing as the young lovers, and Callum Doherty, deliciously revolting as Pugsley, all shine in quirky roles, as do Barbara Denham as Grandma and Nathan Rutups as Lurch. Joseph McGrail-Bateup and Deanna Gibbs, as the stitched-up parents of Lucas, both earn their fair share of laughs.

An excellent orchestra, attractive, uncluttered, setting, fine lighting and sound design, witty costumes and clever, quirky choreography, well executed by the hard-working ensemble of blank-faced zombies, all contribute to an entertaining and satisfying realisation of this fresh and engaging show.  


                                                Photo by Steph Burgess

 This review first published in the digital edition of  CITY NEWS on 5th March 2017
                                                     

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