Addams family's weird world to delight audiences

Deb Edwards/Commercial-News Part of the cast of the Addams Family pose during a recent dress rehearsal in the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium at Danville High School. The cast, from left to right are, Ben Zuber as Uncle Fester, Pamela Adam as Morticia Addams, Cole Huber as Gomez Addams, Eli Ronk as Pugsley, Olivia Nargelenas as Wednesday, Mark Muller as Lurch, and Melanie Clark as Grandma.

DANVILLE — Members of the Addams family have aged, but they’re still creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky.

If you find yourself singing the theme song to “The Addams Family,” you probably have seen the TV show or movie. Now, here’s your chance to see the new musical.

DLO Musical Theatre will launch its 62nd season with “The Addams Family” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Dick Van Dyke Auditorium at Danville High School.

The public can catch a preview of the cast at 10:30 a.m. Saturday when the family judges the Village Mall Halloween Bash costume contest.

The musical, based on the classic cartoons and television show, is directed by Amanda Coutant and produced by Andrew Peters and Sonnia Schroeder. Music is directed by David Schroeder.

“It’s hilarious,” said Cole Huber, who portrays patriarch Gomez Addams. “It’s such a funny show. There are some great numbers.”

The music is upbeat and contemporary, he said.

The musical has an original story: Wednesday Addams (played by Olivia Nargelenas), the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family — a man whom her parents have never met.

If that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Gomez must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia (Pamela Adam).

Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

Audiences will see all their favorite characters, including Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Lurch, and Cousin Itt, as well as a host of ghostly Addams ancestors.

Huber enjoys his role as Gomez, whom he describes as kooky, but a dad at heart.

“He has some of the more bizarre lines and bizarre personality quirks,” Huber said. “But in the next scene, he’s having a genuine conversation with his daughter.”

Gomez is torn between his love for his daughter, and not wanting to break her confidence, and his love for his wife, and not wanting to keep secrets from her.

“The family has always been tight knit and on the same page,” Huber said. “But now he has to pick a side.”

Huber doesn’t have children of his own, but he teaches at Chrisman High School, and has some idea what Gomez is going through. Huber directs the theater program at the school.

This is his eighth DLO performance.

For Coutant, being able to direct the show has been a lifelong dream for her.

“I grew up watching ‘The Addams Family’ through cartoons and movies — this family that loved each other and their uniqueness, despite what others thought.”

As Coutant has grown, the characters have grown, and now have more adult-like problems.

“This amazing cast has jumped in and embraced the ways of those quirky Addams Family characters, and I promise you will not be disappointed,” she said.

Coutant said both children and adults appear in the play, starting with her 5-year-old son, Tayte Wolfe, who portrays Cousin Itt. This is his second DLO appearance.

The musical differs from the TV and movie in that Wednesday is now 18. “It’s a story of coming of age,” she said.

The play will appeal to a younger crowd because of the quirky characters and unexpected things that happen, she said. At the same time, it will resonate with an older crowd who remembers the TV show in the 1960s.

“There are a lot of things every person will enjoy,” she said.

Cast members

Gomez Addams: Cole Huber; Morticia Addams: Pamela Adam; Uncle Fester: Ben Zuber; Grandma: Melanie Clark; Wednesday Addams: Olivia Nargelenas; Pugsley Addams: Eli Ronk; Lurch: Mark Muller; Mal Beineke: John McCool; Alice Beineke: Lauren Smith; Lucas Beineke: Aiden Tibben.

The Addams Family ancestors: Chandler May, Theodore Klein, Leyla Munden, Brookelyn Powell, Brittany Powell, Lauren Powell, Mandy Isabella McCool, Stacey Draper, Bryana Perry, Kara Howie and Bruce Stelzer.

The title sponsor is Full-Fill Industries.

DLO Musical Theatre (formerly Danville Light Opera), a nonprofit community theater, has been presenting Broadway-style adult and youth musicals in Vermilion County since 1956.

FYI

Tickets for “The Addams Family” are $15-20 for adults and $7-10 for students. They may be purchased online at www.dlomusicaltheatre.com, at the Village Mall weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon, or at the door starting one hour before the performance.

For more ticket information, contact DLO at 431-1660 or email boxoffice@dlomusicaltheatre.com.

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