THE ADDAMS FAMILY
When: 7 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., July 18 – 27 (Santa Maria) and 8 p.m. August 2 – 25 (Solvang)
Where: Marian Theater, 800 S. College Dr., Santa Maria and 420 2nd St, Solvang
Cost: $38 – $50
Information: (805) 922-8313 or www.pcpa.org
You may have heard of them: They’re creepy and they’re kooky. They’re mysterious and spooky. And also, they’re all together ooky. Yes, the Addams Family has gone from comic to TV show to Hollywood movie and survived. And in recent years they headed to Broadway and become a musical, which, sunny weather be damned, is coming to PCPA this Thursday for a seven-week run through August 25.
But why summer? Why not Halloween instead?
“October is kind of crowded,” explains PCPA director Erik Stein.
The premise of the musical is this: daughter Wednesday is now slightly older than her usual glum teenage self in the comics, and is nervous to introduce her so-called “normal” boyfriend to her family and so has arranged a dinner party where they can meet Lucas (Tiago Santos) and his parents Mal (Andrew Philpot) and Alice (Jennie Greenberry). Wackiness ensues, as it always does.
“It’s a very funny, funny script,” says Stein. “And loosely based on the plotline of ‘You Can’t Take It with You.’”
The musical numbers themselves are “more traditional musical theater vibe with a twist,” and are written by Andrew Lippa. The book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice gives you all the iconic moments you expect if you are a fan, but there’s plenty there as well for those who are new to the funny, gothic characters.
None of this would be happening, character-wise, if it wasn’t for Melinda Parrett. Let’s just say the actor came dressed as Morticia Addams to a PCPA party when she was still a teen. He’s known her since 2003 and seen her range, from Lady Macbeth to a recent main role in “Mamma Mia.”
“When I offered her the role I know there was a chance she might turn it down, as there’s so many other theaters wanting her,” Stein says. “But she has that macabre side to her. Plus I wanted a Morticia who could dance, and she has three big numbers during the show.”
Alongside PCPA regulars, there is Jennie Greenberry. She just finished playing Roxanne in “Cyrano de Bergerac” at the Guthrie in Minneapolis and has done several seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “For how young she is, the resume is amazing, and she’s someone we’ve been wanting to hire for years.”
In Gomez, an actor needs to have comic chops as well as a strange, suave manner to make the most ghoulish moments work and George Walker has that readily.
And be sure to watch Jisel Soleil Ayon as Wednesday, Stein says. “She’s got *it*, an amazing actor and singer.”
The cast also includes Tyler Matthew Campbell as Uncle Fester, Jacqueline Hildebrand as Grandma, Stephanie Roman as Pugsley, Jesse Baxter as Lurch, and Bobby Kiner as Cousin It.Set designer Jason Bolen has created a set that starts as three mausoleums then can morph into other locations, like the exterior and interior of the Addams’ house, private rooms, and more.
“I call this a twisted party,” Stein says. “A twisted party with heart.”