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(Chelsea Update would like to thank Crystal Hayduk for the information in this story and Katie Rae Hayduk for the photos in the slideshow.)

Mid-November is the perfect time to enjoy “The Addams Family – A New Musical Comedy,” connecting ghoulish Halloween humor with the family values of Thanksgiving.

The Chelsea High School Theatre Guild presents “The Addams Family – A New Musical Comedy” runs at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11, with a matinee performance at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the auditorium at Chelsea High School, 740 North Freer Road.

Advance tickets are available beginning Oct. 27 at Chelsea Pharmacy, 1125 South Main St., for $12/adults and $8/students and seniors.

Beginning Nov. 10, tickets will be sold at the door for $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa; and based on characters created by Charles Addams, the musical is a story with universal appeal. From theatricalrights.com, “Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.”

Director Paige Conway, a graduate of Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre, said, “It’s a fun coming-of-age twist on an old cult classic that all generations can enjoy.”

Conway chose this musical because it is a story that teens relate well to. “The characters are multi-generational and exemplify a strong sense of community,” she said. “There’s a strange juxtaposition of what seems evil and yet there is love and family tradition.”

Junior Madilynn O’Hara plays Wednesday Addams in her seventh stage experience. She had never auditioned for a role that required singing before. “But this year, I set my fears aside and here I am,” she said with a smile. The biggest challenge of her role is that she and Wednesday are dissimilar. “Wednesday is very passionate and over the top, but I’m pretty chill. But I’m learning how to step out of my comfort zone and grow as an actress,” said O’Hara.

Morticia Addams is portrayed by sophomore Carolyn Pierce, a seven-year stage veteran who loves comedy. “Every character in ‘Addams Family’ has a comical aspect,” she said. Pierce said she most appreciates Morticia’s moral values. “She stands for family and honesty, so we’re the same in that way,” she said.      

High school theatre guild members not only act, sing, and dance, but also participate in other aspects of the show’s production. Junior Noah Cook has worked behind the scenes in three previous musicals in lighting design and stage management. Now he’s learning how to move slowly and efficiently while remaining deadpan in his stage debut as Lurch.

Julia Schachinger, eleventh grader and head of props, portrays an Ancestor in her fifth high school show. She said it requires a great deal of energy to be a member of the ensemble who remains in character on stage for most of the show. “The physical aspect [of being an Ancestor] is so much fun,” she said.

The cast and crew hope the auditorium seats will be filled with people ready to be entertained, as they have enjoyed producing the musical. “We have a great time no matter what show we do,” said O’Hara. “We not only grow as actors, but we grow in friendship with each other. We all have different backgrounds and lifestyles, but theatre is how we come together.”

Production information: “The Addams Family – A New Musical Comedy” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide, 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.

www.theatricalrights.com. Originally produced on Broadway by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt, Five Cent Productions, Stephen Schuler, Decca Theatricals, Scott M. Delman, Stuart Ditsky, Terry Allen Kramer, Stephanie P. McClelland, James L. Nederlander, Eva Price, Jam Theatricals/Mary LuRoffe, Pittsburgh CLO/Gutterman-Swinsky, Vivek Tiwary/Gary Kaplan, The Weinstein Company/Clarence, LLC, Adam Zotovich/Tribe Theatricals. By special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical.


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