Torture racks, dark truth serums and a not-so-normal family dinner: ingredients for a creepy and kooky night at the Benedum Center with the “The Addams Family” musical.
Sadly, there were no gruesome death scenes or an unhappy ending; however, there was plenty of slapstick comedy, well-timed humor and hilarious musical numbers wrapped into 2.5 hours of creepy and ooky entertainment with our favorite dark and scary family.
The show opened last night for the Pittsburgh premiere at the Benedum Center and it did not disappoint fans who came for a great laugh. Led on stage by Douglas Sills and Sara Gettelfinger as one of the most beloved goth couples in history, this musical is a must see production for fans.
Based on the iconic Charles Addams characters, the show follows the not-so-normal family as they learn that little Wednesday wants to marry a “normal” boy. Of course, this news doesn’t float well with her father, who first learns of the engagement but has been forbidden to tell his beloved Morticia.
Enter the typical father-wife-daughter conundrum, poor Gomez is “trapped” (also the name of my favorite song of the night).
The show features all our favorite Addams characters, including Lurch, Uncle Fester and even Grandma. During the opening number of the show, the Addams resurrects a few more family members to help throughout the show. The dance number is quite entertaining, and even includes a few popular dance numbers like the “Bunny Hop” and the “Twist.”
To be honest, the show is borderline cheesy, but I absolutely loved it with numerous pop culture references and modern day humor. Regardless, you will laugh at the jokes, wild expressions and the simple, but very funny lyrics.
Although many of the cast members stood out during the show, my three personal favorites were Gomez (Sills), Fester (Blake Hammond) and Lurch (Tom Corbeil). Starting with Sills, this man truly makes the show. He, by far, has the best jokes, the wildest reactions and truly a command of the stage. A veteran performer who has appeared in numerous stage and television productions, Sills was the perfect Gomez.
Of course, a close second is Uncle Fester played by Blake Hammond. Who doesn’t love a guy that can illuminate a light bulb in his mouth and runs around in an oversized frock. Hammond really took charge of the role which included an extremely distinctive voice and a bank of sidesplitting moments, which had the audience rolling. Fester also takes on the role of narration throughout some of the scenes, leaving lots of room for great comedy.
Finally, my third favorite is a man who says very little but plays a big role in the show and that’s Tom Corbeil as Lurch. For the majority of the show, all lines were naturally mumbled groans and grunts, though now and then actually syllables were formed (somewhere). Despite his lack of vocal lines, Lurch has some of the funniest moments throughout the show, including an uncanny ending which includes a beautiful song. It’s a real standout moment from the show.
“The Addams Family” musical runs through August 12 at the Benedum Center and great seats are still available. I highly recommend this show for anyone looking for a great, comedic performance. A word to the wise, there is a good bit of adult-style humor that may not be appropriate for the younger audience, but I’d feel safe saying upper tweens and above would be ok. Somewhere around the PG to PG-13 rating. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Cultural District website.
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