By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky, the Addams family. The NE Playhouse will be performing “The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy” April 17-20 on NE Campus.
“The Addams Family” franchise, which debuted on ABC in 1964, has spawned into movies, cartoons, toys and video games for over half a century. Director Susan Polster wanted to tap into the legacy the characters have and introduce them to a new generation while continuing the family’s story.
“It specifically centers around Wednesday Addams growing up and meeting somebody outside the Addams circle that she’s interested in marrying. He’s a normal boy from Ohio,” she said.
NE students Maxwell Skaggs and Spenzer Strong are playing the ironic husband-and-wife-duo Gomez and Morticia Addams. They are the glue that holds the family of weird together.
“It’s really nice, and it’s a new experience, kind of helps us grow while we play these roles,” Skaggs said.
Strong echoes the same sentiment.
“Well, it’s really fun because they’re not a normal family, and that’s the best part because what you expect from a loving family, it’s the complete opposite,” she said. “They love each other just in the weirdest way possible, and I feel like that really describes just us as people.”
The couple’s oldest child, Wednesday Addams, is played by NE student Kyler Middleton. The casting for the musical was a unique experience from the students’ past performances, she said.
“I think how she [Polster] casted us, at least for me, or I think we might all feel the same way that this is the most we felt chemistry-wise on stage together,” Middleton said. “We’ve been performing with each other for years now. We’ve been a close family, so being cast on stage as a family just feels right.”
The cast drew inspiration from the source material and then put their spin on it to honor the timeless characters. For Strong, it came from her childhood.
“My mom used to tell me I was adopted, so I thought the Addams family was my real family,” she said. “I just always had this idea of Morticia, since I was a little kid, from the TV show, the movies and ‘The Addams Family’ and ‘Scooby Doo’ crossover comic.”
Middleton said she drew inspiration from the same sources when it came to becoming Wednesday Addams, but she gets some freedom with the character because Wednesday is now a woman on the verge of becoming a wife.
Strong wants the audience to take away that nothing is wrong at all with being different and embracing others who are different from you.
“We accept a whole different group of people who are not in the family at all and learn how to get along,” she said. “It’s like midwestern mixed with Central Park vampires.”
The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy
7 p.m. April 17-20
2 p.m. matinee April 20
Tickets are free for TCC students, faculty and staff;
$3 for non-TCC students;
and $6 for general admission.