Jack Lyons Theatre & Film Critic
Jack Lyons Theatre & Film Critic

“The Addams Family”, musical now on stage at The Palm Canyon Theatre is a perfect Halloween treat for its patrons as way to get into the spirit of both the holiday and enjoy the production that is loosely based on the popular cult-classic TV series of the same name.

PCT_8007-webLook at the musical as sort of a first cousin to “The Rocky Horror Show another cult classic with a huge fan base, along with “Young Frankenstein that has the flavor but different characters to tell a similar story with all delivered in an-over- the-top style. Incidentally, all three shows now have been produced and seen by Palm Canyon Theatre audiences over the last five seasons.

The Libretto by Marshall Brickman (Woody Allen’s old writing partner) and Rick Elise, with music by Andrew Lippa, is nicely directed by Shafik Wahab, and features a stellar cast of twenty-one actor/singers/dancers that just light up the stage with energy and stunning costumes.

FESTER-webIt may help, but it’s not necessary to be familiar with the old sanitized source material. This new version has now been spiced up with topical jokes, a few risqué situations, dialogue, and inside jokes that one expects of a musical farce production, but nothing that would send grandma screaming into the night. “The Addams Family” has been designed and produced to entertain in a zany and hilarious style which hits the mark.

The story, such as it is, begins as always: normal boy (Matt Sambrano) with traditional, conservative parents, meets non-conforming daughter (Rachel Saiz) of a definitely non- traditional family. The kids could care less about what their parents want or think. They’re in love and want to get married. Does this plot sound familiar? It should. It’s been around for centuries. There is much to like in this fun show. For example, seeing how the kids and the remaining characters accomplish their various objectives through song and dance make all the silliness worthwhile.

COMPANY-webStarring in the lead roles of adoring husband Gomez and the beautiful sexy wife Morticia (the girl’s parents), are Stanton Kane Morales and Sylvia Tethal, respectively. Their onstage chemistry is downright palpable and it’s delightful to see two professionals doing their thing with flair, precise comedy timing, along with beautifully trained voices and acting skills.

Saiz, who plays Wednesday the Addams’ oldest child is the possessor of a lovely voice with good comedy timing. Sambrano, as Lucas, the object of Wednesday’s ardor, gets to play her hero. Julie Rosser as Alice, Lucas’ mother is always a standout, talented singer and actor. Ron Coronado as Alice’s stuffed shirt husband Mal, is properly up-tight (until near the end). Grandma played by Morgana Corelli, gets a huge laugh with her song and line delivery”…When I break wind, the windmills in the Dutch paintings on the walls begin to turn.”

Jacob Samples as Uncle Fester, is nothing like an avuncular family Uncle who is only let out of his room for special occasions.   He’s more like the family court jester who communicates with of the family’s dead relatives. All of whom are gorgeously costumed by long-time professional costume designer and actor Peter Mins. The cast literally sparkles and glow is his designs (the costumes alone are worth the price of admission). Young Daniel Harris shows a lot of poise on stage as Wednesday’s young, chubby and irritating brother Pugsley. He’s the kind of kid audiences love to hate.

“The Addams Family” production and technical credits team is led by director Wahab. The cast get to sing and dance in a generous set designed by resident Scenic Design wizard J.W.Layne, who also designed the lights for the production.

It’s a pity that “The Adams Family” only runs through Sunday, November 1st. So, you had better hurry to buy tickets for this highly entertaining evening in the theatre. For tickets and information call the Palm Canyon Theatre Box Office at 760-323-5123.