By Matthew Sockol
ALLENTOWN – Preparations for a production of “The Addams Family” are underway at Allentown High School.
The musical will be performed on Feb. 25-27 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, 27 High St. Tickets at $9 for students and $10 for adults may be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 609-259-7292, ext. 1448. At the door, tickets will be $12.
Based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams, “The Addams Family” focuses on Wednesday Addams falling in love with a boy from a less eccentric family and a dinner their families have together.
“As unique as the Addamses are, it is a still a story everyone can relate to – with young love, secrets in the family and weird relatives,” said Nicole Machin, the director of the play. “This cast has been incredible from day one. They have worked so hard and they put together a huge show in a very condensed time frame. It is so much fun, whether you are familiar with (the Addams family through) the New Yorker cartoon, the TV show, or the movie, you will find something on stage you will recognize.”
The play is being produced by Matthew Enright, with Megan Wolff in charge of musical direction and sets designed by Brad Nicklas.
The cast includes seniors Casey O’Neill as Gomez Addams, Anthony Sofia as Uncle Fester, Matthew Jones as Lucas Beineke, Frank Oliu as Mal Beineke, and Lexi Baldachino as Morticia Addams.
Casey, who said he has been in theater his whole life, considers Gomez, the family patriarch, to be one of the hardest characters he has portrayed due to his thick accent. Nevertheless, because he and Gomez share a crazy and always amused attitude, the young man said he is looking forward to the challenge the character presents.
“We have an incredible cast, a great crew and a phenomenal staff,” Casey said. “The musical allows me to hang out with my friends every day after school and really pursue what I love to do.”
As Uncle Fester, Anthony sees his character as the architect for the chaos that occurs during the show and serves as the unofficial narrator.
“Fester and the Addams family are the true personification of crazy and lovable,” Anthony said. “Our show’s main mantra is love and we are just the cast to portray such a theme. I honestly feel like I’m part of this family and we all truly love each other like, well, family!”
Alongside Gomez and Fester, Matthew believes there is some craziness in Lucas, which builds throughout the show. Lucas, who is the love interest of Wednesday, is described by Matthew as a nerdy and adventurous college student. He said they are character traits to which he can partially relate.
“I am not the nerdiest kid, but I do have nerdy tendencies as some would say,” Matthew said. “I am more of the outgoing, adventurous type.”
Craziness also builds in Lucas’ father Mal, according to Frank. Frank said Mal starts the play as a strict father who has lost his passion and excitement for his marriage, but his personality changes when he meets the Addams family.
“I am able to relate to my character once he becomes crazier than his wife because I am generally a pretty outgoing, open person, unlike Mal in the beginning of the show,” Frank said.
To Lexi, Mal’s loss of love for his marriage does not appear in Morticia, the Addams family matriarch who shares her brother-in-law Fester’s penchant for causing chaos.
“She is extremely dramatic, confident, sassy and seductive,” the young woman said. “She loves things her way and she adores her husband. She tends to stir up trouble, but always finds the solutions to her problems. I absolutely love being a part of this show. We have such a talented cast and I have learned so much from all of the other actors and actresses. I am extremely grateful to be Morticia and to be able to share this art with an audience. The cast of ‘The Addams Family’ is truly a family and it means the world to be a part of it.”
“Being in this show means so much to me; I eat, sleep and breathe for rehearsals,” Anthony said. “Everyone in the cast is so friendly and just such genuine people. Ever since eighth grade, I have been doing musicals and this really feels like the zenith of my acting career in high school. The show is going to be phenomenal and I hope the audience gets just as much fun out of it as we are!”