Ghoulishly grandesque

‘The Addams Family’ cast are, back from left, John Paul, Minkie-Anne Grundill, and Luzuko Mavela. Front from left, Megan Calder, Rachael Saunders, Clifford Kleb and Amy Bright

You feel like you are part of the family too – whether you like it or not – when you watch Alexander Road High School’s devilishly enthralling production of The Addams Family The New Musical Comedy.

Fans of the much-loved ’90s film franchise and earlier television series will feel right at home watching this fun piece of musical theatre.

Directed by local theatre aficionado Greg Everard, The Addams Family brings together an oddball family true to the characters originally created by US cartoonist Charles Addams back in the ’30s.

The Addamses – ghoulishly lovable couple Morticia and Gomez, along with their somewhat wayward children, Wednesday and Pugsly – thoroughly entertain the audience with their sly wit and charm.

Flamboyant Uncle Fester, the cobweb-riddled Grandma and zombie butler Lurch round up the clan.

Set in New York City’s Central Park, where the Addams family’s ghostly mansion is situated, the story is interspersed with humour, catchy musical numbers and dazzling dance routines.

Well-executed stage make-up, costume and lighting design give this family comedy the edge and it was very favourably welcomed during the opening night last Tuesday.

Family drama, intrigue and surprise revelations form part of this story as the terminally morbid Wednesday, played by Rachael Saunders, develops a “sunny disposition” when she falls in love with “too normal” Lukas Beineke, played by Liyabona Mki, whom she intends to marry.

While the Addams family ancestors are summoned to rise (with some fiendishly well-choreographed dance sequences), Wednesday and Gomez, played by theatre stalwart Clifford Kleb, plot and plan how best to break the news of the nuptials to Morticia (Minkie-Ann Grundill).

A dinner party is arranged to bring the families together and what transpires will keep you riveted.

The flair Grundill brings to her role as Morticia cannot go unrecognised – glamorous, devious and delightful – and she fully wins the audience over.

Kleb’s Gomez is charming and gallant, keeping true to the man who cannot lie to his beloved wife or daughter.

Hlumelo Yawa as Lukas’s overly zealous mother should be commended for her ability to transform her character from a once oppressed suburban housewife to a sultry woman oozing with passion.

Yawa’s solo when she takes a sip of Grandma’s toxic concoction after the dinner, leaves the audience “wanting what she’s having”.

Gloomy yet colourful Uncle Fester (Luzuko Mavela) keeps the audience entertained with his hilarious rhetoric and obsessive love for the moon.

John Pauls as Lurch will leave you in stitches as he pulls off the role with skill.

The extensive cast of extras in the form of family ancestors, along with the cast and crew, pull off a show that is grandesque in its execution and lovable in its approach.

Catch The Addams Family – The New Musical at 7.30pm at the Savoy Theatre in Perridgevale until Saturday. There is also a 2pm matinee on Saturday. Tickets at R95 are on sale at Computicket.


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