Musical Features Fresh Take on Familiar Family

Erika Riedel

The Addams Family, scheduled to run from March 16 to March 25, will feature 3 separate casts that will rotate through 9 performances.

Originally a comic strip published in the 1930’s, The Addams Family has been adapted for film, television and the stage.

Mark Roberts, director of Campolindo’s last 7 spring musicals, said, “It’s always different to put on a musical with as many cast members as we have. Because we like to encourage as many students to participate as they’d like to, we end up with a cast of nearly 100. There is difficulty about how to put that many members on stage, costumes, etc. Those are challenges we work with every year trying to accommodate the large cast size.”

Rehearsals began on March 10. Though he had a group of talented performers graduate last spring, Roberts feels confident about this year’s casts.

Tickets are available for sale on the Campolindo choir website. Any additional tickets may be available 30 minutes prior to each performance.

Ensemble member sophomore Cole Motely said, “The hardest part for me is not actually the singing or being on stage.  It’s what happens behind the curtain. We have to work on the different set pieces. We all are assigned certain set pieces and if you are assigned an important set piece there is a lot of pressure on you because if you put it in the wrong place something bad could happen.”

Junior Claire Sebree, who plays Wednesday Adams, said, “We haven’t actually run the show all the way through, in my cast at least.” According to the veteran performer, there is a good deal of technical preparation that goes along with rehearsal.

Part of the process each year is assigning roles.

Junior Isabella Nazzari, who will portray Morticia Adams, said, “I was convinced I was going to be the grandma because I am more of a happy-go-lucky person, social, loud, not so grim, and Morticia is the complete opposite, but I think Morticia fit my singing voice and my look better.”

Sebree said, “I really wanted either Alice or Wednesday and I was really happy what getting Wednesday because she is such a dark humor type of character and I love getting to play her with a deadpan face all of the time.”

Roberts said, “All of the different casts have certain things they do well and certain things they struggle with. I wouldn’t go as far as to pit one another against each other. I think certain casts have things they do well or there is a natural chemistry between a couple of the actors, or they rehearsed a team well.”

No matter the makeup of the cast, there are months of rehearsals before the public sees the finished product.

Sebree said, “I think its been going pretty well.  There’s some choreography that needs to lock in a little bit more. Timing, some people don’t have it memorized but we have 2 more weeks which is plenty of time to get everything down.” She added that the show was getting more and more hectic as the debut date nears.

“Mr. Roberts thinks that as far as the singing goes we have it down with the exception of memorizing it a little bit. We could have opening night tonight but its always better to just keep practicing and perfect it any more. They just want us to get the last move down and make sure the timing is right” said Motely.

This production will feature a fresh take on costumes.  In addition, it will change the setting to New York City.

“I think it’s a way to take a timeless classic character and bring them a life in a new way and also put them in the modern era and make them easier to relate to. Also, to take the dark humor that was in plays and tv shows before and breathing more life in it and making it more accessible to people this day” said Sebree. “It takes place in their house and I think that it is fun to see characters that everybody recognizes and knows but in a more contemporary setting.”

Roberts is excited about the unique interpretation he and his students have crafted.

“I always like seeing the audience’s reaction and more so seeing the student’s reaction to the audience’s reaction because they have been rehearsing for so long in the vacuum of not having an audience as feedback. This could be a joke in the script but there’s nobody their t laugh because it’s just rehearsal or that this song is particularly uplifting but there’s nobody there to receive it and there’s no feedback. It interesting for me because I face them [the performers] because I’m conducting and I don’t get to see the audience, so I get to see them reflecting how the audience is reacting” said Roberts.