Snohomish High's "The Addams Family" plays up
In “The Addams Family,” from left to right, parents Alice (Elisa Dahlberg) and Mal (Nathan Scherief) meet Gomez (Drew Winston) and Morticia Addams (Savannah Judd). Standing between them is the Addams’ butler Lurch (Ashton Blackwell). This photo was at a dress rehearsal last week. The Snohomish High play has upcoming shows on Friday and Saturday.
SNOHOMISH — They’re creepy, mysterious and kooky, and altogether goofy.
The Snohomish High theater club is taking “The Addams Family” to the stage with musical numbers and over-the-top comedy.
The Broadway adaptation will have its closing run of shows this weekend. Its 20-member cast and 25-member orchestra are pulling out all the stops.
The plot is that devious daughter Wednesday, played by Rebeccah Benedict, is 18 now and has fallen in love with a normal boy, Lucas, played by Layton Gaskins. Naturally, his parents get to meet Wednesday’s eccentric family as part of the story.
At a Wednesday dress rehearsal last week, the cast were in tune and taking last-minute notes. The fast-paced script has numerous cast entrances and exits and prop movements among its technical challenges.
The main cast are by this point seasoned, comprised of largely seniors and juniors who have performed in past shows, director Scott Randall said. The two-hour show has an ensemble-heavy cast.
Drew Winston, playing Gomez Addams, has to keep up his energy to match Gomez’s frenetic nature. “It is very difficult to embody Gomez Addams,” he said, adding that “on a scale of 1 to 10, Gomez is always an ‘11’.”
Morticia Addams, played by Savannah Judd, said she finds inspiration in her character’s powerful presence while having to balance deadpan delivery without being dry.
The excitable Uncle Fester, played by Tim Justice, pratfalls onto stage and runs amok. Grandma Addams, played by Sophia Carlson, swoons and cracks up with macabre humor built into the script.
Lurch, the unflappable butler played by Ashton Blackwell, appropriately towers over 6 feet tall.
“Everyone is doing very hard work, learning lines, blocking choreography and music,” Winston said.
It doesn’t hurt that the crew is good friends off-stage.
Benedict said it’s one of the closest-knit casts she’s worked with.
“I think people will notice the strong family aspect” in the show, Judd said by email, “Within the Addams family, and even the entire cast, crew, and orchestra, we have all made extremely close bonds and become a true family, and it shows when we’re on stage together.”
They’ve become so good that to make shambling Uncle Fester shine, Randall directs Justice to be sloppier. “Your dancing’s too good!” Randall directs. “Thank you!” Justice replies before adjusting his movements.
Nathan Scherief plays exasperated father Mal, a traditionalist American put at unease.
“I love this environment with the positivity and people going the extra mile,” Scherief said. “I’m throwing myself completely into Mal, with energy.”
Mal’s wife Alice, played by Elisa Dahlberg, takes a show-stopping musical solo in a scene with the family gathered for The Game, a family tradition of forcing truths to come out.
Student Jacob Ragland led assembling the ensemble’s costumes, scouring the theatre department’s supplies, thrift shops and Amazon for the right touches in costume design.
For example, deviant son Pugsley Addams, played by Sami Burton, has a shirt where the costumers painted the stripes on and then weathered the look. Cousin Itt is stitched with yarn.
A few characters wear wigs, but Benedict has dyed her hair jet-black to match Wednesday’s appearance, he said.
Playing Wednesday Addams is a lifelong dream, Benedict said. She considers the character a kindred spirit.
The orchestra has full disposal of a sound effects system known as a patching board, said SHS orchestra leader Nicholas Gorne, who teaches vocal music. It’s new for them, but necessary to get some of the sounds needed.
The outsized characters go well for the cast’s personalities, said assistant director Lilly Anderson, a SHS theater alum.
“The Addams Family” at Snohomish High has shows at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.
At the door, tickets are $17 for adults, $13 for students with ASB and $10 for youth (under 14 years old). Advance tickets can be bought online for $14.45 for adults or $11.34 for children 10 and under at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4091994
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