By Martie Thompson
They’re creepy and they’re kooky … and audiences will have a spooky good time with Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and the rest of the family at Alhambra Theatre & Dining’s production of “The Addams Family.” Featuring lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Eric Elice, all the characters you know and love from the 1960s television show and 1991 movie invite you to their ghoulish world for the evening.
It seems that the usually sullen Wednesday Addams (Kayla Tomas), the only daughter of Gomez (Carlos Lopez) and his wife Morticia (Stacey Harris), has met and fallen in love with a “normal” boy named Lucas — and they plan to get married. First, though, they want their two families to meet; both families are instructed to “act normal” so that they can all enjoy a simple dinner. Morticia is astounded at this request and points out that “What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
Indeed, as soon as the Addams’ taciturn butler Lurch (Austin Palmer) escorts Lucas’ parents Mal (Tom Bengston) and Alice (Regina Torres) into the home, tensions begin to mount.
Hilarity also ensues, and well-timed comedy, some of which has been tailored specifically to Jacksonville, is delivered by the talented cast. Of particular note are Shaun Rice, who was born to play Uncle Fester and Palmer as Lurch, who never strays from his character (right down to his creepy hands and slowly ambling gait). Lurch, definitely the show’s scene stealer, also provides a surprise at the end that is noteworthy.
The production features some imaginative stage props, including a facade of the family’s famous house that can be turned backward to become the inside of the house that is a “museum.” Set designers also came up with nifty props that the Addams family is known for, including a chain torture device, a chair that must be used carefully and a bed with a monster under it.
Musical highlights include Wednesday’s version of “Pulling” as she admits that her love for Lucas is pulling her in a new direction; “Full Disclosure,” performed at the end of the first act by the entire cast while playing “The Game” (a sort of ghoulish parlor game where all players must confess something); and Morticia, feeling left out by her family, consoling herself with the thought that death is waiting for her in “Just Around the Corner.”
Fans of Gomez and Morticia will enjoy the tango to “Live Before We Die” when the stunning couple takes to the dance floor and brings back old memories to themselves — and to the audience.
Executive Chef DeJuan Roy has once again designed a menu to complement the season and the show. Patrons have a choice of Pumpkin Bisque or Autumn Greens for the first course and Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with mac ‘n cheese-inspired risotto, Three Cheese Shrimp Tortellini, Braised Beef Short Ribs or Roasted Vegetable Pita for the main course. Save room for Southern Pecan Pie or a creative Tombstone Cake for dessert.
“The Addams Family” will be performed at Alhambra Theatre & Dining through Nov. 12. Visit www.alhambrajax.com for tickets.
Photo courtesy Alhambra Theatre & Dining
The cast of “The Addams Family” at Alhambra Theatre & Dining