The Addams Family by The Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA
November 22, 2016
Review submitted by Victoria Kline of Academy of the New Church
A daughter asking for her parents’ blessing, a married couple struggling with trust issues, and a jealous brother. These all seem like problems any normal family could face, but throw them all together and add a touch of insanity, a dash of darkness, and a sprig of death and you’ll get Agnes Irwin’s musical production of The Addams Family.
A musical based off of the popular comics by Charles Addams, it follows the hilariously dark and wildly dysfunctional Addams family who, while obsessed with death and darkness, also deals with problems the everyday American family does. Wednesday Addams, now grown to young adulthood, has invited her boyfriend and his parents to dinner. Both lovers desperately urge their strange families to act normal, which they utterly and comically fail to accomplish.
The plot centers on Wednesday (Laura Tobar), who played her part with a casually macabre expression and a sweet tone. However, sulky, sassy Morticia (Catherine de Lacoste-Azizi) stole the show with her mature voice and flamboyant acting, especially in her solo number “Just Around the Corner”. Gomez (Andrew Lengel) also stood out with his humorous portrayal of a father caught between the wishes of his wife and his daughter.
Notable supporting roles included Pugsly Addams (Grace Smith), with her clear, childlike voice; Grandma (Gigi Gardner), always seeming slightly off the deep end; and Alice Beineke (Olivia Freiwald), a woman prone to poetic, and occasionally operatic outbursts. Uncle Fester (Sabina Smith) also supported the leads hilariously as a ghost-conjuring necromancer with a soft spot for romance and a continually amusing voice.
The production was performed with the right ratio of deadpan to pizazz. The background cast was surprisingly energetic for a crowd of ghosts which made the group musical numbers fun to watch.
The talented sound crew backed up the actors and actresses, keeping the body mics of the cast almost flawlessly on track and balancing the volume. Although the lights weren’t always precise, the colors captured the moods of the different scenes well. Adding to the spooky feel were the costumes and makeup, the ghostly ancestors white from head to toe, contrasting the ubiquitous black of the Addams family’s fashion.
Agnes Irwin’s production of The Addams Family provided a humorously dark parody on family drama that shows us that sometimes it is okay to be a little crazy.
Review submitted by Brendan Carr of Germantown Academy
Full Disclosure: Agnes Irwin’s Friday night production of The Addams Family transported audiences into a world filled with comedic gloom!
Based off of the beloved comics, The Addams Family follows Wednesday Addams, an odd young woman who falls in love with “normal” teenager Lucas. When Lucas’s family visits the Addams family for dinner, Wednesday begs her family to give her “one normal night” so that she can impress Lucas, but things go horribly awry.
Agnes Irwin’s production was rooted by the chemistry and humor of the leading cast. Every actor was always in character on stage, making sure they delivered the comedic flair that The Addams Family calls for.
Catherine de Lacoste-Azizi put her heart into her performance as Morticia Addams. Her facial expressions and gestures made her character feel genuine while also adding to her haunting demeanor. She shined during “Just Around The Corner”, and, when paired with Olivia Freiwald (Alice Beineke), created one of the standout moments of the show with “Secrets”. Laura Tobar (Wednesday Addams) accurately illustrated Wednesday’s innocence and love for her fiancé, Lucas (Aditya Bhise). Her spot-on comedic timing combined with her vocal talent made “Pulled” an audience favorite.
Additionally, the supporting cast truly grounded the show and provided some surprising standout performances. Grace Smith (Pugsley Addams) illustrated her beautiful vocal talent during “What If”. Sabina Smith (Uncle Fester) consistently used a character voice while both singing and speaking which is a very hard thing to do. Gigi Gardner (Grandma) and Olivia Freiwald (Alice Beineke) kept the audience laughing throughout the show. These actresses beautifully turned punch lines written in the script into their own hilarious jokes. They stole the show during “Full Disclosure Parts 1 & 2” and “Waiting”.
On the technical side, Madeline Kaller and the AIS Costume Crew created exquisite costumes that were unique to each character. Memorable costumes included a custom made black dress with spider-webbed sleeves worn by Morticia Addams, and an Elizabethan styled dress with a corset and powdered wig designed for a dead ancestor. The lighting crew also changed the colors seen onstage as the two families moved throughout the Addams family house, making it feel as though the audience was moving along with them.
Agnes Irwin’s production of The Addams Family “pulled” audiences in, turning dark humor and lighthearted characters into an overall good production.