- Published on Thursday, 11 April 2013 22:25
- Written by Martin D Goodkin
First and foremost a standing ovation and a “Bravo!” to the Broward Performing Arts new sound system. It has been a long time since each spoken and sung word in a musical was as clear and understandable as it was at this performance of “The Addams Family”!
From the first three “Snap! Snap! Snap!” anyone familiar with the Addams family from the New Yorker cartoons to the TV shows and movies will be right at home. For those not familiar with them you will be after the first song “When You’re an Addams” is finished.
Wednesday (Jennifer Fogarty) the child of Gomez (Jesse Sharp) and Morticia (Keleen Snowgren) Addams has invited Lucas (Bryan Welnicki), to whom Wednesday is secretly engaged, and his parents Mal (Mark Poppleton) and Alice (Blair Anderson) Beineke to meet hers. Wednesday has told her father about the engagement but has sworn him to secrecy to not tell her mother. Gomez finds himself between a rock and a hardstone as he has never lied to his wife and feels he can’t betray his daughter. Knowing the Addams, when Wednesday asks the family to act ‘normal’ around the Beinekes, who are from Ohio, you know it is going to be a rough, and funny, night.
In the opening number the audience gets to meet the complete Addams family and what their idea of normal might be. The brother of Gomez, Uncle Fester (Shaun Rice) is in love with the moon, no one is sure what side the 102 year old Grandma (Amanda Bruton) is related to while Wednesday brother Pugsley (Jeremy Todd Shinder) is afraid when she gets married she won’t be around to torture him anymore. And then there is the all around butler/house man Lurch (Don Olson) while the Addams Ancestors who have come back for one night for the annual gathering of the family hover all over the sets.
“The Addams Family”, since it premiered in Chicago in 2009, then Broadway in 2010 and touring since 2011, has consistently gone through changes whether it be songs by Andrew Lippa or the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and has added zingers regarding current people and places in the news. The songs by Lippa seem to be takeoffs of other songwriters and at one point I thought Fester’s song “But Love” was going to turn into Billy Flynn’s, “All I Care About” from “Chicago” but you will always have the snaps! There is strong backup by the 7 piece orchestra lead by Nolan Bonvouloir.
The cast is uniformly good with Fogarty’s Wednesday standing out with a strong voice. The only weak character, and this seems to be the fault of the direction, is the part of Morticia. I have seen this role played by 2 different actresses and both seemed nervous on stage and unsure of their dancing, consequently the big tango number doesn’t work as they look as if they are counting each step in their head before doing it.
“The Addams Family” may not be a classic Broadway show but it is for all the kids of any age and except for a few risque moves and lines it is a show for the whole family.
First act: 1 hour and 8 minutes Intermission: 17 minutes Second act: 53 minutes
Next stops: 4/22 Sarasota 4/23: Tallahassee 4/24 Pensacola then Michigan
- Published on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 17:00
- Written by Martin D Goodkin
For all the glitter, glitz and glamor in South Florida just head to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami where it is all on the stage in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert--The Musical”. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner won the Oscar for best Costume design and then triumphed again on Broadway winning the Tony in the same category, both awards well earned. The hardest working people in this show have to be the behind the scenes people who coordinate the wardrobe, makeup and wig crew, including the people hired in each city, to get the actors in the right outfit at the right time. With over 400 costumes plus all the accessories the job they do is amazing.. Oh yes, that flip-flop dress is in the show!
From the curtain first going up when the audience sees a replica of the Sydney Harbour bridge, in Australia, all lit up, to the very real bus that turns, spins, opens up, changes colors, has moving wheels and does everything a bus is suppose to do plus, the lighting designers Nick Schlieper and Jonathan Spencer plus Brian Thomson who designed the bus and production certainly deserve the positive reactions they get from the audiences with all the changes.
The story is about Tick/Mitzi (Chris Klink) going to meet his son for the first time with Adam /Felicia (Bryan West) and Bernadette (Scott Willis), the latter two not knowing that Tick had been married or even has a son. Tick and Adam are drag queens while Bernadette is a transexual and they do a show together lip synching in a gay bar in Sydney. The show is about what happens when they travel from Sydney to Alice Springs where Adam will meet his son. Most scenes are accompanied by songs from the disco era including “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, “Go West”, “I Will Survive”, “True Colors” and “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. In many cases the songs distract from the quieter scenes and just lay there. The choreography is sort of between a rock and a hard place as some of the costumes hinder any dancing of note and most of the steps are basic and constantly repeated. Scott Willis stands out as Bernadette as does Joe Hart as her eventual beau Bob. Both have a chance to sing solo while most songs are done as duets, trios, quartet, or with the full ensemble, not giving any other an individual to shine.
“Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical” is certainly a visual delight and when it comes to the finale you will be up on your feet shaking your booty with the cast. Talking about ‘visual delight’, anyone who likes the chiseled bodies of young men are in for a treat!
Act 1 One hour Intermission 25 minutes Act 2 One hour Strobe lights, Smoke
Tour Dates: Tampa Bay 4/9-4/14, Orlando 4/16-21 West Palm Beach 4/23-28
Coming next to the Arsht Center “Memphis” May 7-12
Coming next to the Broward Performing Arts Center “Warhorse” May 7-19