By Maddy Vitale
“The Addams Family” may be “creepy and kooky” and all together “ooky,” but when you put Ocean City High School student’s spin on the macabre musical, the brew you get is fun, zany, and quirky, thanks to the multi-talented cast in the spring musical at the Nancy & William Hughes Performing Arts Center.
Rob LeMaire, the director of the musical, also opted to cast two people for the main characters, all except Gomez Addams, played solely by T.J. Rumer, whose talent shined through, as he danced and lead the cast through skillfully choreographed routines during rehearsal Monday afternoon. There are four shows and it gives an opportunity for the leads to be in two shows.
Over 100 Ocean City High School students have been working on the show since mid-December. There are 55 characters and the rest are stage crew or in other roles. Nancy Karsner was in charge of costumes. She even created clever names for some of the characters including Scarlet O’Addams, and Marie Antoinette Addams.
“The Addams Family” features a story about Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, a daughter who has grown up and fallen in love with a smart, young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met, according to the press release.
Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams (T.J. Rumer) must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia, played by Natalie Katsiff and Liz Buch.
Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
LeMaire said it is really a fun production.
“We have a big ensemble. This is a theme these guys can relate to – growing up, everyone is moving on, going off to college,” LeMaire explained. “Wednesday is getting married. Just like these 18-year-olds are starting their own lives.”
Melissa Wilson, whose daughter Julia, 15, plays one of the Pugsleys, watched as her daughter took to the stage in full dress and posed for photos with her Pugsley Addams counterpart, Hailee Pietrowitz.
“They spend hours and hours when they put a show on,” Melissa Wilson said. “They sacrifice their time. They are so dedicated.
Julia, who sings and acts, said she was excited to play the part of Pugsley because she gets to really show off her fun side.
Stella Schwartz plays one of the Wednesdays. It is a role she kind of can relate to, she joked.
“The role is very close to my personality. The aspect of a quirky girl, who is a little weird,” Schwartz said. “Everything is exaggerated when you are a teen.”
Victoria Robinson also plays Wednesday. Both performers had fun during the dress rehearsal striking poses and dancing about the stage. Chad Callahan, who played Uncle Fester, had fun entertaining his peers and the media putting a trick lightbulb in his mouth, one of the funny stunts the uncle was known for on the television show and musical.
The original musical comedy ran for 722 performances on Broadway. The shows are at 7 p.m. March 22, 23, and 24th and there is also a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students.
Karen DelSordo, choreographer for the production said the cast worked hard for three months. Ellen Byrne, president of the Drama Boosters, and 10 students helped with the elaborate makeup. For about two hours before the cast took the stage they sat patiently for costume and makeup.
The cast of “The Addams Family” features Dennis Adams, Andrew Arsenault, Kayla Attiya, Jay Barrett, Elizabeth Buch, Caroline Byrne, Chad Callahan, Maggie Corcoran, Trevor Corcoran, Ella Curtin, Haley DePersenaire, Gabriella DiMarco, Billy Flynn, Ashley Gereaghty, Nathan Goudie, Karen Greenwood, Ashley Hoffman, Madison Holmes, Adam Hubbi, Natalie Katsiff, Kayla Killian, Shane Kirby, Luke Leonetti, Danna Luciano, Seaira Manning, Sophia McCarty, Morgan McLees, Sophia Meyler, Emily Mora, Valerie Morrison, Katie Muller, Dan Mulraney, Shannon Mulraney, Kelly Nyman, Ellen O’Brien, Haleigh Perry, Lilirose Phillips, Hailee Pietrowitz, Kayla Pietrowitz, Isabella Roache, Victoria Robertson, Emma Rodriguez, TJ Rumer, Sara Ruth, Sylvia Rutkowski, Conrad Schmidt, Stella Schwartz, Emily Smith, Andrew Stremme, Emily Torrence, Kat Trout, Meredith Urban, Gabbi Verducci, Erik Wagner, Gabrielle Waid, Jenna Wilkinson, Julia Wilson, and Jessica Wriggins.
The Ocean City H.S. Stage Crew members working on this production currently include Robin Altman, Justin Berry, Sadie Degennaro, Max Fisher, Paul Giordano, Marley Goudie, Kylee Grandmaison, Emily He, Tyler Hogg, Sophie Koval, Kira Layton, Tanner Mitzel, Nicole Moore-Kittner, Justin Nelson, Dylan Peck, Julia Pestalozzi, AliJane Robel, Jacob Schneider, Jennifer Stevens, Micah Waid, Sean Walsh, Tyler Williams, and Sarah Zigner.
Ocean City students and staff appear with the pit orchestra, including Andrew Biglin, Frank Butterick, Tym Cox, Gabriel Doughty, Alexandra Errickson, Isabelle Heng, Andrew Holloway, Christopher Horan, Elijah Kuchler, Christopher May, Victoria Patella, Georgia Roache, Dominic Scalfaro, Noah Schneider, Alex Town, Pete Wiggins and Kate Wyatt along with accompanist Scott Breiner and conductor Donna Schwartz.
For tickets visit www.ochsdramaguild.org.