‘The Addams Family’ at Beef & Boards is spooky, funny treat
October 21, 2015
Filed under Curtain Call
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Going into “The Addams Family” at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, I didn’t know what to expect. I have gone to Beef & Boards shows many times in the past, and performances have ranged from phenomenal to fairly competent. However, I was truly blown away by this show. Coming just in time for the Halloween season, “The Addams Family” is about Gomez and Morticia Addams letting go of their daughter, Wednesday, when she falls for a “normal” boy, Lucas Beinke.
The performances given by everyone on stage were strong and convincing. Particularly strong was Eddie Curry as Gomez Addams. His acting was wonderful, as is necessary for any actor in this role, as Gomez is the anchor character of the show. His comedic timing and deadpan delivery never failed to get a laugh, and his touching rendition of “Happy/Sad” brought most of the audience to tears. Shaun Rice as Uncle Fester was another particularly impressive actor. He made his strange character unique and lovable, and even though he has played this role over 400 times, the delivery was still as fresh as ever. Amanda Butterbaugh was hysterical as the grandmother, and had the audience in stitches with almost every line.
However, certain roles were not as well performed as they could have been. Simon Barnes as Pugsley did not quite have the range or vocal strength that his character required, and although he is a rather young performer, he still did not seem to be the best choice for this role. In addition, Blake Spellacy as Lucas Beinke did not have the strongest voice or the best acting. He seemed to struggle a bit with harmonies, and his chemistry with Wednesday Addams (played by Samantha Russell) was simply not developed due to his weakness in acting. Other than these few, everyone portrayed their part very well and did a commendable job.
A review of this show would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful set and lighting design. A lot of thought was clearly put into making the show look how it should. The dim blue-green lighting along with the use of a fog machine set a spooky tone for the show. The dark, Victorian-looking set pieces went to further emphasize the creepy atmosphere. The set and lighting worked together perfectly to create a wonderful overall look for the show that went along perfectly with the story itself.
However, there were still a few things that I was a bit disappointed with, although they hardly detracted from the show. For one, the ensemble was extremely small, so they couldn’t quite deliver the full sound needed to fill the large theatre. Each ensemble member was clearly strong, there just weren’t quite enough of them to create a sufficiently big sound. In addition, I was just a bit disappointed that Rice didn’t go for the high note at the end of “The Moon and Me.” It’s good for him to know the limits of his vocal range, however, I would’ve loved to hear him hit that note. The one other problem spot was “Live Before We Die,” a duet between Gomez and Morticia Addams. Although the vocals were beautiful, the choreography during the instrumental section was unimpressive and made the instrumental part seem drawn out. However, none of these small issues made a huge difference on my enjoyment of the overall performance.
“The Addams Family” is a wonderful, dark and incredibly funny show that is perfect for the Halloween season. This show is one theatre-goers will certainly not want to miss. “The Addams Family” runs at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis now until Nov. 22. Tickets are available online at www.beefandboards.com or by calling 317-872-9664.