With each coming spring the students of Roseville High School, myself included, highly anticipate the new year’s spring musical and this year is no exception. RHS Theatre Company chose “Addams Family” for this year’s musical, a brassy somewhat romantic comedy with the Addams Family characters.
Upon the announcement of this choice I was nervous. I was nervous of who would be casted as the creepy, kooky characters, how well the songs would be performed and nervous because multiple performers who led previous musicals weren’t on the cast list. However, I was also excited to see something new brought by a new cast and they pleased me perfectly.
Keep in mind the complexity of the Addams. They are characteristically deadpan but on stage you have to convey an extreme amount of emotion (they don’t call it drama for nothing) so mixing those two, as you can imagine would be terrible hard to pull off. But they did it.
Gomez (Austyn Crighton) is supposed to be the funniest character and brings the majority of the comic relief, which Crighton dutifully does. The jokes are all fast-paced and with a knack for comedic timing, Crighton pulls them off perfectly.
Gomez and Morticia (Brooklyn Pontoni) also have great chemistry. Pontoni herself brings new life to Addams matriarch as loving and nosy mother – not to mention Pontoni choreographed the whole show while playing a lead. I cannot express how much of a feat that is especially because she plays a magnificent Morticia and the choreography is genuinely stellar.
Of course the play is named after the Addams, but playing opposite of them is Beineke family. Lucas Beineke (Douglas Pomin) is Wednesday’s love interest and a rather interesting character. On the outside he’s a copy-and -paste suburbian cutout, but in a rather cheery tone you hear him say things like “I’d like to be a medical examiner because you get to look inside people and they don’t mind because they’re dead,” that make you think maybe he is meant to be an Addams.
The family dynamics of the Addams and Beinekes are the complete opposite. The actors on each side bring the chemistry or lack thereof to life. While watching I forgot that the actors aren’t actual families when they are in fact peers of all relatively the same age.
The Beinekes, which consists of Lucas, Mal (John Wallasch) and Alice (Jonna Giorgi) are the exact opposite. You feel the friction and distance between them through their body language and tone.
Though beautifully done I would find myself getting lost at certain points in the play, specifically the musical numbers. It was hard to hear the actors singing over the background music. In part that was because it was too loud or they needed to project more it was hard to follow along.
In addition to projecting sometimes the actors would get lost in focusing on tone of voice and forget to enunciate their lines making it sound a little muffled especially for audience members like me sitting further back in the theater.
To put it simply, I am glad that my experience with RHS Theatre Co. ended on such a high note.