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Flora Lynn Isaacson

Addams Family at Novato Theater Company

By September 28, 2023No Comments

Photo by Jere Torkelsen

Don’t miss Novato Theater Company’s new musical comedy, The Addams Family, on stage now through October 8.  Based on the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, this fun-filled production entertains from start to finish.

Marilyn Izdebski (Director/Choreographer) and Judy Wiesen (Music Direction & Keyboard) lead the large talented cast, crew and team of designers including Michael Walraven (Scenic), Frank Sarubbi (Lighting), Tracy Redig (Costume), Cindy Morris (Property) and Mark Shephard (Art).

The spacious set is spooktacular thanks to Walraven, Shephard and Kristy Arroyo (Specialty Painting). Front and center is a large door to a crypt. A wrought iron staircase on each side leads to a balcony with a haunted house in the background surrounded by spooky trees. Inside the crypt are “the ancestors,” a macabre group of ten singing and dancing ghosts dressed in white.

The overture features the familiar Addams Family song from television and the audience claps along. Soon the ancestors and Cousin Itt (with his signature long hair) take the stage followed by the whole family singing “When You’re An Addams.”  A scary looking Fester (Pat Barr) follows with an ironically tender performance of the song “But Love.”

The next tune in Act One, “Wednesday’s Growing Up,” is captivating. Performed by Bruce Vieira as Gomez Addams, the lyrics explain how daughter Wednesday has fallen in love with a “normal” young man. But Gomez must keep his daughter’s budding relationship a secret from his wife Morticia (Alison Peltz), at least for a while. Vieira and Peltz are tremendous in their roles. Their comedic timing and on-stage chemistry are a joy to watch.

HarriettePearl Fugitt is brilliant as Wednesday. She sings “Pulled” (with Robin Kraft as brother Pugsley) and “One Normal Night” with power and emotion. John Diaz is spot on as her smitten beau Lucas Beineke.

In Act Two, the Addams family invites Lucas’ parents, who are visiting from Ohio, to dinner. Alice and Mal Beineke (played by Jane Harrington and David Shirk) are convincing as the straight-laced, conservative couple nothing like Gomez and Morticia. Harrington is really funny when her character accidentally drinks some of Grandma Addams’ potion of “acrimonium,” losing her Midwest inhibitions and breaking into the song “Waiting.” The honesty in the lyrics ends up helping the Beineke’s marriage and brings an ultimate resolution between the two families and their children.  With help from their ancestors, friends and relatives, Wednesday and Lucas may actually have a chance at love despite the odds.

Other stand out performers deserving special mention include Kayla Gold who is hilarious as Grandma and Todd Krish (whose weird voices as Lurch) add much to the show.  Robin Kraft, the youngest cast member (sharing the role of Pugsley with Milo Ward) deserves special recognition for his incredible acting and singing. Kudos to the actors playing Cousin Itt (Lyra Wiesen, Alyse Levash,Cruz Galvez and Maison Sarkisian)–the show would not be complete without this strange character.

The Addams Family will make you laugh and smile. Director Marilyn Izdebski succeeds in her goal with the show–“to bring joy and love to everyone who watches.”

Coming up next at Novato Theater Company is Spamalot with book and lyrics by Eric Idle, music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle, directed by Larry Williams, music direction by Daniel Savio and choreography by Marilyn Izdebski, February 9 to March 3, 2024.

By Flora Lynn Isaacson & Co-written by Lori Wood