One Normal Night with The Addams Family

This Halloweekend, Scotch’n’Soda put on the perfect production to match the spooky vibe of Halloween with their portrayal of the stories of the weird, wonderful, and eccentric Addams family. Familial bonds, secrecy, and the weird allure of the darkness came alive during Scotch’n’Soda’s production of The Addams Family, held Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium.

In this tale from the Addams’ codex of wonderful tragedies, the Addams — delightful father Gomez, matriarch Morticia, youngest son and masochist Pugsley, charming uncle Fester, who also serves as a guide to the story, Grandma Addams, and their “zombie for a butler” Lurch — must deal with their eldest daughter Wednesday’s coming-of-age when she brings home her “normal” boyfriend Lucas Beineke and his “normal” Ohioan family. Aided by the Addams Ancestors, the Addams and the Beinekes struggle and power through their own family and identity crises, and show that, according to director, sophomore vocal performance major Sydney Roslin and assistant director, senior professional writing major Mackenzie Nicholson, “even the craziest families can emerge from these low points with stronger love and understanding for each other.”

Scotch’n’Soda performed the U.S. Tour version of the 2010 musical, which features more songs and a slightly different structure from the original Broadway version. While it was different from what I expected — I had watched and loved the Broadway show when I was 13 — Scotch’n’Soda’s production was endearing, darkly charming, and featured everything that made the show an Addams family production: witty and dark humor, a spooky aesthetic, and a magnetic family bond that charmed the entire audience.

What the small cast lacked for in size, they made up with in humongous talent. In particular, senior Science and Humanities Scholar Reagan Henke commanded the stage as Morticia whenever she sang, exerting her presence within the cast on stage as the matriarch of the Addams clan. Senior music major Angelo Ragghianti stood out as the comedic and eccentric Gomez Addams, offering witty jokes and sage advice that not only Wednesday but also the audience could relate to and connect with through his heartfelt portrayal. First-year humanities student Abigale Pfingsten’s portrayal of Wednesday Addams was incredibly poignant and relatable to anyone who has ever felt “pulled” in two different directions, and was the driving emotional force and heart of the entire production.

First-year humanities student Natalie Schmidt and junior art major Melanie Anderson were equally charming and hilarious as Pugsley and Grandma Addams respectively, and senior humanities and arts student Dante Horvath’s portrayal of Fester Addams served as a guide to not only the Addams Ancestors but also to the audience. Horvath truly emphasized Fester’s kookiness and his dedication to bringing the family together and resolving their situations at hand. All eight ancestors also brought a grim yet lighthearted fun and extraordinary talent to the show, with each having their own distinct looks, personalities, and time periods ranging from an English colonial aristocrat, a 1920s flapper girl, a sharpshooting cowboy, a mourning bride, and even a caveman complete with his own huge club. Even the Beinekes embraced their own normal weirdness, adapting to the oddly charming vibe of the Addams family and the audience.

The show truly emphasized everything it means to be an Addams, with some even calling it the best production Scotch’n’Soda has ever produced. It was never afraid to move towards the Addams family’s eccentric darkness and was truly a marvelous effort from not only the cast but also everyone involved in the production. It has been said that for every great cast there is an even greater production team behind them (or something along those lines), and The Addams Family is a show that speaks tons of darkly colored volumes about Scotch’n’Soda’s dedication, talent, charm, and the close-knit bonds and kinship in the group.