It’s finger snapping theme song is recognizable across multiple generations and now the classic, black-and-white era TV show comes to the stage. Hendersonville Community Theatre produces The Addams Family: A New Musical likely to be a graveyard smash — through Sunday, Nov. 3.
The show debuted in 2009 and tests the boundaries of the term “musical,” but that’s only a minor quibble with this enjoyable yet perplexing production. Directed locally by Lisa Gerber, the cast is, overall, a talented bunch, and clearly enjoy what they are doing. However, the show is mostly made up of teenagers playing adult leads. Sure, “Junior” variations of nearly every popular musical, geared toward the younger performers and audiences, can be found. However, The Addams Family is not a Junior edition, and is filled with winking innuendo and some adult themes that are tough to watch teenagers perform.
These kids deserve credit for being up to the challenge. Harrison Burnette and Jayna Gerber have great chemistry and timing as Gomez and Morticia Addams, the delightfully deranged parents. College-aged Claire Estes performs a perfectly goofy Grandma, and Cody Pero’s Uncle Fester romps through the show offering ongoing commentary with a wacky band of ancestral ghosts resurrected from the graveyard at the top of the show. As the strong, silent type, more age-appropriate Randy Robbins delights as the moaning butler, Lurch.
Cassidy Bowen’s Wednesday Addams is the stand out of the show. Between terrorizing her perfectly cast little brother Pugsly (Liam Barrett), and keeping her parents at odds over her confessions of true love for a neighborhood boy, she is the center on which the show pivots, and she holds it with confidence. Samuel Anchia is her new boyfriend, Lucas, who brings his parents (Devon West and Jaylan Brinson) to meet the Addams family. Hilarity ensues as the families get to know one another, and face the reality of their children’s love for each other.
Brinson, as Alice Beineke, brings down the house with a magic potion-induced number that ends with her atop the dinner table.
The grand and Gothic sensibilities of the show are under-realizedono the HCT stage, which may be a bit too small for something of this scope. The music is recorded — therefore no live orchestra is used — which leaves the musical aspect feeling a little lacking. Still, HCT’s ambition is to be admired. One walks away impressed by the pluckiness and the potential the theater so proudly displays.
WHAT: The Addams Family: A New Musical
WHERE: Hendersonville Community Theatre, 229 S. Washington St., Hendersonville, hendersonvilletheatre.org
WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through Sunday, Nov. 3. $20-$30