WOODBURY, Minn. — This weekend, students at Woodbury High School embrace the creepy, the kooky and the mysteriously spooky.
“The Addams Family” features the beloved classic characters with timeless themes and humor. A cast of nearly 30 students bring the tale to life from Nov. 15-17 and 21-23.
The musical centers on a young adult Wednesday Addams, who has fallen in love with someone from a “normal” — that is, decidedly non-spooky — family. When she invites her new beau and his family over for dinner, tensions arise.
The dynamic runs similar to how interactions between the Addams family and the outside world played out in the famed 1960s television show. But this time, there’s a bit more at stake: Uncle Fester, rooting for the young couple, has enlisted the help of the Addams ancestors, who cannot return to their graves until the two families can overcome their differences.
While light-hearted, characters confront changing relationships, mortality and identity throughout the show.
“It’s about family, it’s about remembering your ancestors and where you came from, and looking forward towards the future. And being accepting of people who are different than you,” director Marcie Panian said.
With 11 principle roles and 18 ancestors, the musical provides opportunities for each actor to embrace a distinct character, making it a good fit for a student musical, Panian said.
Most of the principle roles entail exaggerated, camp acting, which is important practice for developing actors, Panian added.
“I think it’s a very integral part of learning the craft of acting, you have to be able to come out of that comfort zone and get out of where you feel safe in order to grow your skills as a performer.”
The cast includes Joe Lionetti and Elena Gordon as Gomez and Morticia Addams; Maria Kolb and Benji Zupferas as Wednesday and Pugsley; Paofue Thao as Uncle Fester, John Mutyaba as Lurch, and Natalie Freisinger as the grandmother. Wednesday's boyfriend, Lucas, is played by Owen Meisner, with Jessica Mathews and Mitchel Roettger playing his parents.
If you go...
What: “The Addams Family” at Woodbury High School
When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16 and Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 21-23; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.
Where: Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive
Cost: $8 for students, seniors and children; $10 for adults