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Dinner on the darkish aspect: Sierra College of Performing Arts presents ‘The Addams Household’ musical at Bartley Ranch

4 min read

The “new-boyfriend-meets-the-parents” trope is an outdated chestnut in theater, movie and TV. It’s standard as a result of it really works as a straightforward, normally humorous gateway to a night of mishaps, miscommunication and common mayhem.

You’ll discover one other iteration this month on the Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, the place the Sierra College of Performing Arts presents The Addams Household, a musical comedy by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Capitalizing on the success of Netflix’s Wednesday and the longtime (inexplicable) recognition of the TV and movie franchises, this SSPA manufacturing takes that very same outdated story and twists it, including a little bit of potion, some marital strife and a household that’s drawn to the darkish and miserable. It additionally showcases top-notch native expertise and makes for an gratifying night time out.

Younger Wednesday Addams (performed by Anuhea Azevedo) has fallen in love. His identify is Lucas Beineke (Jeremy Uithoven), and he’s keen to satisfy Wednesday’s household, and for her to satisfy his personal mother and father. She beseeches her mother and father, Gomez (Michael Davanzo) and Morticia (Amy Ginder), to host the Beinekes for a “regular” dinner. The Addamses, being sometimes macabre and creepy, don’t normally cotton to that entire “regular” factor, however for her, they’ll attempt to make an exception.

On the appointed day and time, Lucas and his milquetoast Midwestern mother and father, Mal (Jared Energetic) and Alice (Katie Hughes), arrive—and are seemingly delighted, albeit mystified, by the household’s weird residence and habits.

Little does both set of oldsters know that Wednesday’s youthful brother, Pugsley (Aubree Shulz), is afraid he’ll lose Wednesday as a playmate when she runs off with Lucas. To forestall this from occurring, he steals a little bit of acrimonium potion from his grandma (Kimberly Richman) and provides it to a chalice, hoping to dose Wednesday so she’ll change her thoughts about Lucas. However the chalice results in the unsuitable palms—and earlier than lengthy, the Beinekes are within the midst of a meltdown that throws everybody’s relationships and future plans right into a tailspin.

It’s essential to name out some significantly great performances on this manufacturing, which not solely requires nice comedic timing and presence, but in addition sturdy vocal expertise. Amy Ginder is at all times a vibrant star on any stage; I’ve loved watching her in quite a few SSPA and Brüka performances, and she or he continues to impress together with her comedic chops and flexibility. As Morticia, she is wickedly enjoyable.

Azevedo is excellent as Wednesday. Although she’s comparatively unknown to me, I anticipate to see much more of her; not solely is she an unbelievable singer, however her distinctive, deadpan supply of Wednesday’s dialogue actually helped her make the half her personal. Additionally price noting is Davanzo’s portrayal of Gomez. I loved his efficiency in Kinky Boots at Brüka Theatre earlier this summer season, however he performed the straight man (so to talk) and thus didn’t get a lot of a possibility to be foolish. Right here, that high quality in him actually shines; Gomez is constantly humorous and lovable, and his songs are among the many better of the present.

Palms down, the perfect efficiency is that of Katie Hughes as Alice, Lucas’ folksy, buttoned-up mom who will get to have her personal form of awakening on the ceremonial dinner. I first noticed Hughes in Reno Little Theater’s Baskerville, and she or he simply retains getting higher. I felt like I used to be watching her channel classic Madeline Kahn. Her shrill supply, present for bodily comedy and singing talents stole the present.

Kudos additionally to the stay band, led by conductor Branden McKinnon, which performs for your complete two-plus-hour present and retains it transferring alongside flawlessly.

Although the present is filled with expertise, there’s little they will do with a script that could possibly be at the very least one-third shorter, and far tighter. A number of scenes contribute nothing to the story and will have been lifted out. And the ending appears to take a very long time in coming, with a number of finales seemingly stacked on prime of one another once they might have been wrapped up in minutes. A couple of technical points on the media preview efficiency I attended made some dialogue exhausting to listen to, however they have been minor and sure as a consequence of it being this manufacturing’s first present earlier than a stay viewers.

Although it may well really feel like a protracted night (particularly on the amphitheater’s exhausting steel chairs), there are many laughs available. Simply convey chair cushions and heat garments, and revel within the sheer quantity of expertise earlier than you. There’s loads of that.

The Addams Household, a manufacturing of the Sierra College of Performing Arts, is being carried out at 7:30 p.m., Thursday by way of Sunday, Aug. 17-20; and Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26, on the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Highway, in Reno. Tickets are $18 to $55. For tickets or extra info, go to www.sierraschoolofperformingarts.org/exhibits.html.

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