Dead come to life as “The Addams Family” hits main street
Oct 31, 2016 11:19AM
By Travis Barton
“The Addams Family” musical came to the stage at Midvale Main Street Theatre. From left to right: Kristina Stone (Grandma), Bynnly Bosworth (Wednesday), Jordan Dixon (Lurch), Maggie Goertzen (Morticia), Ryan Hoskins (Gomez), Thomas Middleton (Pugsley) and Danny Eggers (Fester). (Dustin Bolt and Amy Bosworth/Midvale Main Street Theatre)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Midvale, Utah - To commemorate the Halloween season, Midvale Main Street Theatre owner Tammy Ross chose a musical about the deadliest of families: “The Addams Family”. The two and a half hour show runs from Oct. 13 to 31 at 7711 S. Main Street.
Ross, who directs the show, said she wanted to do a show the community likes, but not one everyone is doing.
“Halloween shows are always fun, we’ve done ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Rocky Horror’ so this is the natural progression,” Ross said.
“The Addams Family” is originally based on a comic strip of the same name about an eccentric family with an affinity for all things deadly. The comic was adapted into a television show and movie before eventually transitioning to the stage for a Broadway musical in 2010. Its musical adaptation tells the story of a grown-up Wednesday Addams (played by Brynnly Bosworth) whose fallen in love with a young man before confiding in her father, Gomez (played by Ryan Hoskins), making him promise not to tell her mother, Morticia (played by Maggie Goertzen).
After its opening night, Ross said she was thrilled with the show from the set design to the performances. Made all the more impressive, she added, with her having to go out of town twice during production for the first time in her career and the flu running through the cast over its final two weeks of rehearsal.
“It goes to the professionalism of what [the actors] do,” Ross said. The last dress rehearsal was the first time the full cast was together in over a week.
“This show came together so beautifully and I think when you are careful when you cast, that happens,” Ross said.
Two nights in a row, Ross had an audience member tell her “this is the most perfectly cast show I’ve ever seen.”
“Everybody worked so hard to capture the character, but tell a new story that hasn’t been told in any other form of Addams Family, movie or TV show,” Ross said. “They put a lot of time and effort and blood, sweat and tears into it.”
Casting was done in June and rehearsals started in July with actors putting in months of preparation. Bosworth said she watched the TV show and movie on multiple occasions in addition to the cast reading the script together close to 50 times.
“They are kind of iconic characters, they’re ones you really have to do justice to or you lose the storyline,” Ross said.
In a show full of comedic moments and memorable songs, the cast had plenty of favorite parts to choose from.
“I do love the tango,” Goertzen said of her dance routine with Hoskins. “It stresses me out every night—neither of us are dancers—it’s not our strength and we worked really hard on it. It’s so much fun to just be that for a couple minutes.”
While the dance was challenging, Hoskins’ most emotional moment came from the musical number, “Happy/Sad,” where Gomez slow dances with his daughter. With four kids of his own, Hoskins said it was easy to get emotional.
“It’s fun to play a character that has a wide range of emotions. Gomez, through the whole show, is goofy and making people laugh when all of a sudden he realizes his daughter is growing up and he has to give her away to someone else,” Hoskins said. The song is also Bosworth’s favorite moment.
“The show is so funny and you’re kind of not supposed to take it seriously until that moment when you’re like, ‘oh wow these are real people,’” Bosworth said.
While characters enjoy being tortured or collecting lethal weapons, the cast said they enjoy the gentle moments showing the softer side of the family like the butler, Lurch, laughing at a joke or the Uncle Fester falling in love with the moon.
“You have a character that is so physically awkward doing ballet and trying to look beautiful singing this romantic song to this moon, that juxtaposition is hilarious to me,” said Danny Eggers, who plays Fester.
“The Addams Family” and love may not be the first connection people make, Goertzen said, but it’s not that they don’t love one another, it’s simply expressed differently.
“They care and they show it, just with torturing devices or tangoing three times a day. They’ve got their own twisted way, but they still love, care and want the best for each other,” Goertzen said. “And for me, that’s where I feel the heart of the show is. It’s been fun to realize as we play with it.”
Another realization has been how much the cast enjoys being together.
“As actors we can get a little dramatic so you’ll get that when you have so many people working together in such a confined area and doing their craft,” Hoskins said. “Our cast, these 24 people, really have been like a family. It’s been so cool how little discomfort, inconvenience there’s been. Everybody gets along, everybody wants the best thing.”
It makes it difficult for the cast to keep a straight face, but it also means they enjoy being on stage together like during the “Waiting” musical number.
“I love that whole scene because we’re all on stage and every character has their own little moment. It’s so fun to react to everybody with all the other extra things going on,” said Judith Hutchinson, who plays Alice.