‘The Addams Family’ stops for a visit
The Addams Family — that creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky clan from TV and cinema— will call Park City High School home this weekend.
The school’s drama department will present “The Addams Family: The Musical” for a three nights and one afternoon starting Thursday, Nov. 16.
Curtain is scheduled for 7 p.m. and tickets are $7 at the door.
Drama teacher Rick Kimball, who directed the production, said the musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2009 with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, is filled with laughs, and he wanted to impart lessons in comedy to his students..
“I used to do a couple of things with (comedy studio) Second City when I lived in California, and I wanted to find a production that had a sense of comedic timing that would showcase not only our strong female singers and our strong male singers,” Kimball told The Park Record. “When I read the script it spoke to me in regards of how contemporary the comedy is, and I sat there and laughed at the different references.”
The comedy was also the biggest challenge of presenting the musical.
“The lines are so funny, but if the actors aren’t careful, the lines can fall flat,” Kimball said. “So we had to work on breaking the lines down and finding the jokes and how to deliver the jokes, and that took a lot of practice.”
The main cast— McKenzie Adams as Morticia, Jack Jorgenson as Gomez, Alexa Wilcox as Wednesday and Marcello Caro as Lucas, Wednesday’s boyfriend — stepped up their game.
“I’m an advocate for my actors to find how they can portray their characters, and I didn’t want Jack to mimic Nathan Lane portraying Gomez,” Kimball said. “I wanted Jack to find out how the character of Gomez sits with his own interpretation. And that’s what we did with the others.”
The story follows the ghoulish family as it tries to come to terms that Wednesday’s boyfriend hails from a “normal” family.
To effectively pull off the scenario, Kimball knew chemistry was key to the comedy?.
“So when casting Gomez and Morticia, my big thing was casting two people who worked well together, rather than who could sing the best,” he said. “We did the same thing when we cast Wednesday and Lucas, because we found if we were able to establish relationships emotionally and physically, the comedy would become more believable and funnier.”
After casting the roles, Kimball worked with the actors to discover their strengths.
“I also give them a clear-cut aspect of why I chose them for the parts,” he said. “I felt if they got a sense of why they were selected, they could add to that. It’s like I showed them a skeleton and it was their responsibility to fill the spaces in between the bones.”
Kimball said he enjoys working with such a talented cast.
“We have a lot of students who are involved in the arts,” he said. “They take voice and are involved in band, so the sense of musicality is amazing. But they also know the importance of working hard. And that gives us unlimited possibility to what we can do.”
“The Addams Family” also upped the ante with choreography.
“There are 12 massively big choreographed numbers, and I had a friend, Jessa Brock, who choreographs productions at Pioneer Theatre, choreograph this show,” Kimball said. “She came up once a week and worked with the students.”
The drama department is also working with the Park City High School music department on the production.
“The music director is Christin Abbott, who is the Park City High School choir director,” Kimball said. “I’m also working with Chris Taylor, the director of bands, who conducts the music. Between them, the students get a clear direction of how to perform the songs.”
“The Addams Family” also features a massive set design.
“Last year, Park City High School won Best Set Design in Utah for the production ‘Little Women,’ so the same crew who designed the sets are raising the bar for ‘The Addams Family,’” Kimball said. “The set will feature one massive set that rotates on the stage and turns into three smaller sets.”
In addition to the main production, the Park City High School drama department will host a pre-curtain event that will include a silent auction at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.
“We have some great gifts including Egyptian Theatre and Hale Center Theater and Deer Valley donations,” Kimball said. “This year we’re performing at Disneyland in February, and we hope to travel to London in two years to work with he Royal Shakespeare Company. So the silent auction will help raise money for these programs.”
Park City High School will present ‘Addams Family: The Musical’ at 7 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 16- 18, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children under 12. For information, visit pchs.pcschools.us/index.php?page=141.
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