Oklahoma Baptist University’s production of the new musical, “The Addams Family Musical,” will soon hit the stage, opening Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The musical features music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. It is based on characters created by Charles Addams and the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Performances will take place at Craig-Dorland Theatre inside Shawnee Hall on the OBU campus.
The production will continue through Nov. 5, with evening performances Oct. 26 and 28, and Nov. 2, 3 and 4, at 7:30 p.m. Matinees will take place Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased online at www.okbu.edu/theatre or by calling (405) 585-4350.
In addition to the seven performances scheduled at either 2:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., there will be a special Halloween performance on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 10:30 p.m.
Based on the iconic TV family, “The Addams Family Musical” is a dark, quirky tale of love, loyalty and laughter. It follows the life of Wednesday Addams, a young and scary girl in love who is anything but enthusiastic about introducing her new man to her less than conventional family. As Wednesday struggles to accept her family’s crazy antics, she learns that every family is a little spooky in their own way.
Matthew Caron, assistant professor of theatre, is directing the production.
“Everyone knows the classic boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back love story. But what happens when the girl is a crossbow-wielding sadist (in a good way) named after a day of the week, whose family is obsessed with darkness, grief and unspeakable sorrow?” Caron said. “In this comedic twist on the classic storyline, audiences watch their favorite spooky Addams Family characters, including Morticia, Gomez, Lurch and Fester, as they negotiate a relationship with the family of Wednesday’s love interest, the very normal Lucas Beineke. While their love can survive explosions, poison and torture, can it survive the family dinner?”
“Working on this show has been truly rewarding,” says musical director Dr. Louima Lillite, associate professor of music. “I particularly enjoy experiencing the collaboration that is so integral and crucial to the success of a musical. The music is fun, the lines are tuneful, the staging is fascinating, the choreography is riveting, and the actors and singers have grown incredibly. I look forward to watching the fruit of our collective labor soon.”
Rebecca Ballinger, PR manager for the musical and assistant professor of voice, says that this production has been a combined effort from students and faculty through the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.
“It’s highly collaborative. Dean Chris Mathews, since coming to OBU, has encouraged the divisions in the College to work together more intentionally. The music is directed by music faculty, the stage is directed by theatre faculty, and the art department has people who are designing the ancestors’ portraits, such as Nero Addams and Marie Antionette Addams. They act in the Greek chorus capacity, reflecting on what the family is doing.”
She also notes that this show appeals directly to college students, as it deals with contemporary issues and is told in a modern way.
“I think it’s something that college students can definitely relate to. It deals with family dynamics but it’s kind of approachable because no matter what happens, it’s still the Addams family. Wednesday brings home a normal boy, so it’s the opposite of what we usually see, so that’s a fun thing. It’s also a very different style from what we’ve done in the past. It’s much more in a contemporary style. There’s going to be some new sounds, for sure.”
David Kenworthy, assistant professor of theatre and design technician, handled set and lighting design, making the strange, frightening yet whimsical world of the Addams family come to life. Kenworthy is also in change of prop design and soundboard operation.
Those portraying the roles of the Addams family clan include Caleb Schantz, senior theatre major, as Gomez Addams; McKenzie Reece, junior theatre major, as Morticia Addams; Chase Hendrickson, junior theatre major, as Uncle Fester; Sydney Mathews, junior music education major, as Wednesday Addams; Luke Dyer, a seventh grader from Grove Public School, as Pugsley Addams; Kaeley Mastin, freshman, as Grandma Addams; and Noah Cassidy, freshman communication studies major, as Lurch.
Caleb Frank, sophomore theatre major; Courtlin Haygarth, sophomore communication studies major; and Lara Gatton, senior theatre major, will play the parts of Lucas, Mal and Alice Beineke, Wednesday Addams’ love and his family.
Additional members of the Addams clan will be portrayed by Brenna Bergeron, senior theatre major, as Cleopatra Addams; Sarah Smith, freshman music education major, as Emily Bronte Addams; Tori Smith, senior theatre major, as Lois Long Addams; Harmony Dewees, freshman vocal performance major, as Isabella of Addams; Julie Welch, junior vocal performance major, as Marie Antoinette-Addams; Chase Davis, freshman vocal performance major, as Emperor Nero Addams; Grant McGee, sophomore theatre major, as King Henry Addams VIII; Garrett Wheeler, freshman theatre major, as Blackbeard Addams; Joel Tetmeyer, freshman music education, as Billy the Addams; and Anna Tyler, junior theatre major, as Jason Addams.
“The Addams Family Musical” is the first show to be featured in OBU Theatre’s 2017-18 season titled, “Life, Death and other Curiosities.” Future performances include “Defying Gravity,” a free structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster, and “A Murder is Announced,” an adaptation of a story by Agatha Christie.
Box Office ticket sales begin two weeks prior to performances. Season tickets are currently available at $30 for adults and $12 for students. Visit www.okbu.edu/theatre or call (405)585-4350 for more information.