Those quirky, slightly macabre Addams kids — Wednesday and Pugsley — are growing up. Also, Wednesday is bringing a boy home for dinner.
Such is the setting for Greenwood Community Theatre’s latest live stage production, “The Addams Family: A New Musical,” opening at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18.
“Normal is different for everyone,” explained this show’s director, Ryan S. Hewitt, GCT artistic director and youth and outreach coordinator.
This stage show follows the rather morbid and wacky Addams clan, who reached American pop culture cult status with the 1960s black-and-white television sitcom, “The Addams Family,” and later in feature films, animated series and more.
But, this strange family first took shape as a series of comic panels in “The New Yorker” magazine in the late 1930s.
Hewitt, who is not only directing this show but also portraying the role of Mal Beineke, said this show demands a lot of cast and crew.
“A big element of this show is special effects and costumes,” Hewitt said, noting rats move across the stage and one point and a monster appears under a bed. “... Unlike a lot of stage shows, the makeup and costume color palette for this show is very, uh, dead.
“You also get to see a number of the Addamses’ ancestors from different time periods, who have died — a cowgirl, a nun, a pirate, a baseball player, a flapper and a bride. They are around to help move the story along.”
Kelly Crittendon is doing the makeup for the show and playing the morose character, Wednesday Addams.
Unlike many theatrical makeup techniques, to brighten the face, Crittendon has been exploring monochromatic looks and stylistic differences between certain eras, for many of the Addams’ ancestors who are out of their crypts and on stage.
“In this play, Wednesday Addams is not just a cartoon or a television character,” Crittendon said. “She’s a young woman who has blossomed, but she’s also that iconic character we know.
“The music for this show made me want to audition for it,” Crittendon said. “The chance to do this role is just amazing. The music is incredible. Wednesday’s numbers are huge. I hope to do the music as much justice as I can.”
Crittendon, 18, of Anderson, is a secondary English education major at Anderson University and no stranger to GCT productions.
You have the odd Addamses — Gomez, Morticia, Wednedsday, Pugsley, along with Lurch, Uncle Fester, Thing and other beloved characters, and then, you have the much more average Beinekes.
“Wednesday, the Addamses’ daughter, is going into college and she’s met a boy and she is bringing him home to dinner,” Hewitt said. “You see Wednesday going into adulthood. The story revolves around her and this boy and how these polar opposite families interact.”
Hewitt said this show’s music is challenging as well, with chords and harmonies that are not what you might expect.
“It goes into that whole vibe of what is normal for the Addamses is not normal for everyone else,” Hewitt said.
Hewitt said figuring out staging and special effects has been part of the fun with directing this production.
“Another fun thing is that this relatively new musical is all new to all of us, both GCT veterans and newcomers to the stage,” Hewitt said. “We have several Lander students who are in their first show with us as well as a recent Erskine graduate who is in this show.
“It’s also fun that we have a mother, father and daughter together in this show — Lisa and Jeff Smith and Mary Lyle Smith Cathcart,” Hewitt added.
At least two actors in the show are game for dyeing their hair for their roles as Pugsley and Gomez. Local cosmetologist and salon owner Katie Eisenreich is coloring the hair of actors Joey Plyler and Jonah Maze, who play Gomez and Pugsley.
For both Friday night performances during the show’s run, there are 50 free tickets available for area college students who reserve them and show a valid student ID to pick up reserved tickets. These tickets are being sponsored by dentist Dr. Michael Snider of Cambridge Dental Associates in Greenwood.
Reserve college student tickets beginning Oct. 15 at the GCT box office by calling 864-229-5704.