Just Around the Corner: The Addams Family

In the fall, the performing arts commenced with a rendition of the age-old The Odyssey, followed by the provocative Love of Three Oranges and The Green Bird, and now has come full circle to the comedic musical The Addams Family.

The Addams Family first made its debut in 1938 as a 150 single-panel cartoon. The cartoon later expanded to become multiple television series, films, soundtracks, video games, novels, and now a live musical. This spring term, Choate will make a spin on the classic, directed by Ms. Tracy Ginder-Delventhal.

Ms. Ginder-Delventhal explained, “The musical takes place around ten years after the TV series and movies. Now, Wednesday Addams (Graysen Airth ’18) is a grown woman of 19 years. She has fallen in love with someone ‘normal’ (Max Patel ’19). It is all about the two families, Addams and Beineke, navigating what it means to come together with people who are different from you.”

Although the musical may seem like a Halloween motif, Ms. Ginder-Delventhal assured, “The musical is not scary or gruesome at all, it is purely a comedy. It truly is really funny. I chose The Addams Family because, as suggested by the title, it’s about the of strength familial love.”

This musical’s casting process strays from that of other Choate muscials. Ms. Ginder-Delventhal said, “The casting for this show was especially different from the rest. I specifically looked for people who I thought had some kinship with their characters. This was very important because of how ridiculous The Addams Family can be; I really needed people who could connect to them. Also, because the movies and television series are so iconic, I had to choose people who I thought could portray those characters without straying too far from script. There is much less interpretation in this play than any other I have ever put on the Choate stage.”

One of the main characters in the musical is Wednesday Addams’s love interest, Lucas Beineke, who is portrayed by Max Patel ’19. Patel said, “The Beinekes are another family, aside from the Addams, who everyone knows. They are supposed to be normal, but they really aren’t.” He joked, “I think I connect pretty well to my character. I mean, we are both crazy and we are both teenage guys.”

Patel, who was involved with City of Angels last year, was drawn back to audition for this play as well. He said, “I really did not expect to get the lead role this year. Last year I was one of the backup singers, part of the ensemble, and I really enjoyed it. The whole process was so fun and being a part of the performance was awesome. Tracy is amazing to work with. I just had a really good time.”

Another lead character is Morticia Addams, who is played by Nicole Scruggs ’17. She described Morticia as “a truly remarkable character” and added, “She has unconditional love for her husband and her children. It’s clear that she would do absolutely anything in the world for them. But unlike your typical mother, she also has this inner darkness that’s intimidating, powerful, and sexy all at the same time.” Scruggs added, “The most beautiful thing about the family as a whole is that even though all of the characters are twisted, dark, crazy, and unconventional, they are the epitome of a perfect family because they love each other no matter what, and they love each other for who they are.”

Scruggs has been a part of a few Choate productions and is a member of Chamber Chorus. She said, “I started acting when I was four. But when I came to Choate, I decided that I wanted to fit into the athlete crowd. Somehow I always used it as an excuse not to audition for a production. But then I realized how much I missed acting.” She added, “I realized that this was my last year to do any sort of acting at Choate, and I realized that I would be okay with getting any sort of role, whether it would be a lead or an ensemble role. I just wanted to act.”

The musical features a variety of compositions, ranging from upbeat to somber and from funky to poetic. Ms. Ginder-Delventhal said, “I hope the musical is going to be enjoyable for the audience. There is humor in the way the Addams family really loves darkness, but they love it in a warm and delightful kind of way. The whole thing is going to be amazing; it’s all very ‘campy’, fun, and loving.”

Be sure to look out for any further announcements and to attend The Addams Family: The Musical this spring term.

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