The Addams Family: A New Musical

Sophie Sharp, Social Media Editor

What theme song can you not resist snapping to? During the first weekend of March, The MacDuffie School Theatre Department will present The Addams Family A New Musical, directed by Art Department Chair Becky Beth Benedict. The musical is humorous and modern, a twist on the TV show seeing as the characters are the same yet the story line is different. Benedict would categorize the musical as “dark and playful, in the way we approach Halloween.”

The Addams Family was first published by The New Yorker in single-panel cartoons designed by Charles Addams. The characters had no names; however, a few of them were recurring: a mother, a butler, and a “thing.” In 1964, these characters were further developed in a TV show created by David Levy, who added additional characters to the scene. Movies were later made based on these well-developed and widely known characters, and in 2010, the first Broadway production of The Addams Family: A New Musical was performed.

When asked what made her choose The Addams Family, Benedict said that there were many factors of the musical that appealed to her. For one thing, it crosses a lot of cultures: “Way more kids were familiar with The Addams Family than I expected.” It turns out that the show reaches an audience much further than the United States. The show also intrigues a broad range of ages. Additionally, the traditional chorus roles, known as “the ancestors,” each have their own identity. “That really attracted me too,” says Benedict, “because I feel that no matter what part you are in the play you need to have a backstory and know what your purpose is.”

Senior Nate Enders, who plays Lucas, Wednesday’s boyfriend, is enjoying his first time acting for The MacDuffie Theatre Department. Although Enders has never been involved in acting before, he encourages others to try it before graduating. “I don’t think I would ever get this opportunity in college…I think it’s something everyone should experience,” says Enders.

According to Benedict, approximately twenty-five percent of the cast is new to theatre, and about thirty or thirty-five percent of the cast has been involved in theatre class only, not main productions.

“In the end, I only cast on talent,” says Benedict when describing her casting process. Benedict pushes all judgements about whether or not and auditioner “looks” the role to the side, and focuses only on merit, responsibility, and dependability only.

Each night, approximately ten pounds of dry ice will be used for the opening number, creating a spooky, mysterious effect. MacDuffie has the right to the Broadway script; however, that script does not include the rights to the original Addams Family television theme song. Benedict and the cast hope that the audience will pick up on the finger-snapping musical queues at the start and end of the show.