Penn-Trafford Drama Guild prepares to stage ‘The Addams Family’
The Penn-Trafford High School Drama Guild will stage “The Addams Family” as its spring musical this year.
However, it’s actually more like the Addams Extended Family.
“We had the talent this year to double-cast all of our lead roles,” director Tom Bekavec said.
Moving the story of the old black-and-white TV show ahead a few years, the musical, written by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa, finds Wednesday Addams a grown woman, bringing her boyfriend Lucas to meet her family and begging her relatives to “be normal for one night” as they meet the man she wants to marry.
“In the movie, she doesn’t have a lot of emotion, but in this show she’s an adult,” said senior Raegan Hochman, 18, one of two Wednesdays cast in the show. “I want to show both sides of her character to the audience.”
Audience members will also get a look at the older branches of the Addams’ family tree.
“Most of our ensemble cast is playing deceased Addams ancestors who come back to help them through the situations they get into.”
And the extended family goes back, well, quite a few generations, giving the costume committee a good challenge.
“One is a hippie, one is a former soldier; there’s even a caveman!” Bekavec said. “That put some pressure on the costume and makeup folks.”
Wednesday’s boyfriend, who will be played partly by junior Nick Konopka, is unable to see the Addams’ long-dead relatives, and had to train himself to basically ignore most of his fellow castmates.
“It’s more focusing, actually,” said Konopka, 17. “I try to focus specifically on the person I’m supposed to be interacting with and can ‘see,’ and try to sort of put a wall up between me and the other characters.”
For senior Angel Morante, one of two actors playing matriarch Morticia Addams, the challenge is staying low-key while also trying to satiate her characters’ desire for attention.
“Morticia is very subdued, but in her mind, everything is about her,” said Morante, 18. “I like the show because it has a lot of dark humor, and Morticia is just a lot different from any role I’ve played before.”
Bekavec said he is a sucker for slapstick-style comedy, and this show has it in spades.
“There’s some great, campy, over-the-top comedy in this show, without losing the core of who these characters are,” he said. “It really is based on the old black-and-white TV show. So design-wise, our designer utilized all the original sketches from the (show’s) set. But Wednesday is grown now, so it’s a fresh approach to the Addams Family.”
The show runs April 5-7 and April 12-24. Sunday shows begin at 3 p.m., with all other shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for students and senior citizens.
For more, or to purchase tickets, visit PTHSDrama Guild.com.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .