WLNS morning news anchor Evan Pinsonnault leads the close-knit family in the role of Gomez, a devoted family man, portrayed by Pinsonnault as a “cross between Antonio Banderas and Count Dracula.” His lovely wife Morticia will be portrayed by Alissa Britten. OCP newcomer Grace Rosen, a 19-year-old Perry resident, plays daughter Wednesday, who falls for a “normal” boy—Luke (Christian Wojtowicz). She pleads with her father to hide the secret from mother Morticia, who is not going to be happy with Wednesday’s choice. The secret engagement is revealed when the Addams host a dinner party for Luke’s parents, the Beinekes, played by Mike Windnagle and Mandy Bashore, most recently seen as Shrek and the Dragon in OCP’s “Shrek the Musical.”
Other Addams family members include Wednesday’s brother Pugsley (Evan Stehlik), who is not the least bit happy that someone is stealing his sister’s attention away from him; Uncle Fester (Michael Crawford), who confesses he is in love with the moon; Grandma (Kathy Kowalski), who has lived in the family home for years, mixing potions; and of course, the ever-grumbling butler Lurch (Quentin Brainerd) who has a big surprise for the audience.
The musical version is based on the characters of the original single-panel cartoons by Charles Addams that inspired all of the television or film versions that came later. The musical opened on Broadway in 2010, receiving a Tony nomination for its score. “This score is amazing because the lyrics really tell the story,” said Pinsonnault.
“You can connect to these characters as real human beings,” added Pinsonnault. “Sure, they are a dysfunctional family, but in the end they are more like ‘normal families’ than people may have believed. If the Addams family can work things out, so can any family—and I think that message is at the heart of this show, surrounded with unbelievable comedy, a fantastic score, and a smart script.”
This musical includes some of the most elaborate dancing ever done in an OCP show, according to OCP’s Artistic Director Garrett Bradley. “Dancing is a big part of the relationship between Gomez and Morticia, and their passion for dance leads to a big tango number with multiple couples.” Choreographer Erica Duffield, former professional dancer and instructor at Kim’s Dance Dynamics, said the tango is extremely stylized and elegant, and moves into a paso doble, now so well known to people because of Dancing with the Stars.
The rest of the cast comprising “the dead ancestors” include Seth Barnes, Nichole Constine, Zach Crawford, Mary Jo Damm-Strong, Erica Duffield, Elizabeth Fischer, Nick Frederick, Devin Gill, Miles Hayes, Sarah Innes, Zane Jordan, Skylar Kleinschmidt, Jessica McClung, Rebecca Mueller, Samantha Portice, Emily Smith, Alexa Stechschulte, and Ian Turnwald.
Set, lighting, and costume designers Michael and Mistie Jordan are creating a spectacular gothic feel for the show, Bradley said. “The giant gate alone is impressive,” Bradley said, “but the designers have plenty of other special effects in the works that will take the audience to that dark, satirical place where the Addams reside. Audiences will like seeing the characters they are familiar with telling a whole new story. “
Performances are September 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 8 pm., and September 7 & 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets for all shows and the opening night reception are available online at owossoplayers.com and the OCP Box Office 989-723-4003. Adult tickets are $20. Student and senior tickets are $18, and children ages 13 and under are $10. Tickets for the opening night Marquee Fund event (where wine, cheese, and desserts will be served) are $25.