Hononegah's Addams Family: quirky fun, dramatic moments


The Addams Family Musical, Hononegah, Mar. 15-17, 2024, Hononegah Performing Arts Center

A  hand arose from the pit prompting audiences to snap their fingers in sync with the theme song of “The Addams Family, School Edition.”

Directed by Mrs. Carolyn Frieden, a multi-talented 29 member cast were joined by a spectacular set crew, on March 15, 16 and 17, 2024 on the Hononegah Performing Arts Center stage.

This musical version of the story was based on characters originally created by Charles Addams, who started with original single panel cartoons in the New Yorker magazine. 

The book was co-written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Numerous stage, television and film adaptions have been created, with four movies, five TV series, including Wednesday on Netflix, and a dance craze.

Music and lyrics were composed by Andrew Lippa. Orchestrations were done by Larry Hochman.

Catchy dance numbers, memorable costuming, and powerful vocals propelled the story with the right balance of energy.

Senior Debraruth Hayag transfigured into the often sullen Wednesday, the daughter stuck in a family often described as creepy, spooky and kooky. 

Actors proved this to be true through a wide range of character development, moving action smoothly from scene to scene. Occasional ad libs were thrown in.

Senior Gabe Kohl ingeniously became Gomez, Wednesday's father. Olivia Simpson perfected her role of Morticia, her mother.

As the show began, the Addams family comes together to let everyone know what it is like “When You're an Addams.”

Wednesday reveals to Gomez that she is getting married but he must not tell Morticia. Her father realizes that “Wednesday's Growing Up.”

Gomez expresses his feelings about being “Trapped” as he has always told Morticia the truth, other than keeping Wednesday's secret.

Wednesday examines her positive feelings as she is being “Pulled” in a new direction.

Pugsley (Tanner Pearson) brilliantly depicts his feelings of hurt and jealousy as his sister fell in love with Lucas (Nathan Shapiro) who is completely Wednesday's opposite. (That is, Lucas is perfectly normal, unlike the Addams family). Pugsley reflects on what might happen when Wednesday moves on by asking, “What If.”

Laughter was abundant whenever Grandma Adams entered the scene, as masterfully played by Jennavieve “Gale” Harms.

Ryan Nosbisch perfected deliberate movements as Lurch the butler goes upstairs to open the door for Lucas's family.

Wednesday warns the entire family that she wants just “One Normal Night,” when they meet her boyfriend and his parents.

Morticia and Alice compare notes on the importance of never having secrets. An ensemble of ancestors join in a dance number.

Maddox Lester showed great comedic prowess as Uncle Fester singing “Uncle Fester's Manifesto” stressing the importance of not talking about anything else but love. Later in the show Fester shares that he is in love with the moon in “The Moon and Me.”

Morticia speaks about her angst at her suspicion that Gomez was keeping “Secrets” from her.

The first act ended with “Full Disclosure,” a game where everyone had to reveal any secret they were keeping.

As different characters took turns, Alice Beinke (the extra talented Emma Caver) stole the show with her reveal through powerhouse acting and vocals. Alice let her husband Mal (the equally talented Aiden Van Fleet) know that he had indeed been keeping secrets, while also letting her insecurities out.

Opening the second act, Morticia reflects that death is “Just Around the Corner.” An ensemble of ancestors danced during this number.

Gomez lets Wednesday know that he wrestles with being “Happy Sad” about her growing up so fast.

After Wednesday and Lucas briefly break up, they meet up again and explore which one of them has the wilder personality in “Crazier Than You,”

Lucas' parents look at ways to improve their relationship by remembering good times from their past.

Gomez and Morticia decide “Let's Live Before We Die.” Kohl and Simpson perfected a “Tango De Amor.”

Adding extra attention to each scene were the Ancestors: Julia Batson, Addison Butz, Kirra Fluegel, Al Gibson, Gale Hatch, Alise Heinrich, Lily Henderson, Sophie Hoyer, Baylie Hutchens, Keira Jones, Lily Klaus, Charlotte Krieger, Emma Kuo, Tessa Larson, Julissa Negron, Sara Nielsen, Gabe Serrano, Angel Van, and Megan Vandergrift.

Behind the scenes Mr. Christian Frieden served as the assistant director. Olivia Gelander was the directing intern. Gemma Baines was the scenic designer and master carpenter. Mr. Sean Mohler is the director of the PAC.

Props and costume master was Mrs. Kelley Beard.

Senior Annelise Mesa finished her final show at HCHS as the stage manager.

Elizabeth Carmona and Maddelin Matrick worked as assistant stage managers.

Braydon Beck, Evan Gilson, Anastasia Halcomb, and Jackson Lawyer worked in the audio booth.

Lighting the way for the actors were David Houha, Isabella Kenny, Annelise Mesa, and Lydia Nordgren. Evan Guetschow did the rigging.

Props and crew members were Kennedie Borucki, Elizabeth “Ellie”Carmona, Juniper Gray, Addisyn Hansen, Lilly Jobst, Nawshin Kabir, Saylor Kieper, Tia Leindecker, Maddelin Matrick, Adele Montgomery, Ellie Naumowich, Savanna Neiber, Jazlyn Oberg, Kaitlyn Ogden, Lela Pagles, Soren Petravicz, Alistair Petz, Maddie Schnurr, Molly Vosberg, Berlin Weidman, and June Weidman,

Setting each scene musically was a 15 person pit orchestra directed by Mr. Jeremiah Kramper. He was joined by Madeline Archer, Brooke Franklin, Corissa Maurer, Piper Ennett, Ben Hansen, Ema Mayer, Morgan Crowley, Noah Reader, Logan Smith, Jakob Keip, Mekenna Gibson, Zachary Krenz, Lisa Miller and Cal Kramper.

As the cast moved toward the darkness before the final curtain call, receiving a well earned standing ovation, finger snapping once again accompanied the show's theme song.

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