WACT to present 'Addams Family'

Casey Reaves (right) kisses Madison Miller’s hands while the pair act out a scene as Gomez and Morticia Addams in the WACT production of “The Addams Family.” The show’s performances start Friday, Sept. 22, and will continue through Sunday, Sept. 24. Photo by Emma Rausch

By Emma Rausch

They’re creepy and they’re kooky and they’re coming to the Wabash for three days of performances starting Friday, Sept. 22.

Wabash Area Community Theater (WACT) presents “The Addams Family,” a comedic musical filled romance, dark humor and a cast of local actors and actresses.

The Addams family, originally one-panel gag cartoons that debuted in the 1930s before being adapted into a television show and several movies, is a satirical inversion of the ideal 20th-century American family: wealthy, yet unconventionally captivated by all things macabre, seemingly unaware of their abnormal livelihood.

Directed by Marilyn Sexton Mason, audience members are advised to expect the unexpected with this musical production, according to Casey Reaves and Madison Miller, who take on the roles of husband and wife Gomez and Morticia, respectively.

“Everyone knows the name, the Addams family,” Reaves told The Paper of Wabash County. “Everyone knows what kind of characters they are, but I do like how (the musical) is more of a modern story. It’s more up to date.”

“It stays true to the characters,” Todd Dazey, who portrays Fester, added.

“Yeah and it’s adding onto the story,” Miller said. “Wednesday’s older, Pugsley is older and so their story continues on what was in the ‘90s films. It’s not the little girl that you’re used to, but you’re still, ‘That’s Wednesday because that’s how she was raised and Morticia is still Morticia.’”

While the Addamses are an atypical family, in the musical, they will be facing a challenge every family eventually confront, children growing up. Wednesday, portrayed by Charity Rankin, has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a “normal” family and seemingly throwing out the Addams family standards.

“The Addams family is not that much different from your family,” Dazey said.

“We go through the problems that every parent and child go through,” Reaves added. “Everyone has their own family struggles and there are different ways of getting out of them.”

“There are different situations, different milestones that families go through and how they deal with them,” Miller said, “ and this (musical) is just how the Addams family deals with their milestones.”

Dazey’s character, Fester, known as Gomez’s loveable, crazy brother, narrates the story, determined to assist Wednesday with her romantic endeavors.

“I think Fester is love-struck and you find that out, but because he is, he wants everybody’s love story to succeed,” Dazey said. “And so he pushes hard to make sure that happens. … The feeling I got from it when I was reading through the script was that he’s part bumbling idiot, part (determined) uncle.”

The show is full of laughs and fun, he added.

“I’ve been with WACT for more than 20 years and I’ve never had this much fun,” Dazey said.

Reaves, Miller and Dazey noted that they would rank the musical PG13, noting that there are some mature jokes in the dialogue.

“It is a family friendly show in that it is a family and you will see the typical family dynamics,” Miller said, “but there are some jokes, there are some things that may not be, but there’s so much going on, you’re not going to be worried about that.”

“And I think the PG13 part, some of that is going to go right over people’s heads,” Dazey added.

“And also the jokes and quips are there to be just that, jokes and quips,” Reaves said. “It doesn’t take anything away from the bigger picture of the story about parents letting their child go and grow up and children finding out who they want to be and falling in love, all the important aspects that make the show seem so memorable.”

“Don’t be deterred by (the jokes),” Miller continued.

Reaves, Miller and Dazey along with other WACT officials encourage families to come meet the Addams family.

“I would ask them (those considering seeing the show), ‘What’s your family like at home? Behind closed doors, that isn’t really seen,’” Miller said. “This is kind of the Addams family behind closed doors. We’re opening our doors to you so you can see all the chaos we go through and see that that’s normal, but it’s normal. What’s normal? Welcome to our normal.”

The show “is amazing,” Miller later added. “There are so many hardworking people in this show. We’re a family on stage and off.”

Director Sexton Mason told The Paper “the show has provided some much needed laughter during a rather heavy time in our world right now.”

“I think people coming to the show need to come in the frame of mind of just having an enjoyable evening of musical theater, being open to just laughing and having a sense of humor and having just light fun,” she said.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure (directing). This is a really great cast to work with. WACT is a wonderful organization that I enjoy being affiliated with and my hope for the audience is that they see the value in all the work that the volunteers of WACT put in and that they appreciate the very hard work that the cast and crew and everyone involved in the show has put in.”

Show times will be Friday, Sept. 22, and Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available for $17 for adults and $10 for students.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the or call 260-563-1102.

Posted on 2017 Sep 19