It’s fair to say that when Charles Addams’s one-panel comic debuted in The New Yorker in 1938, no one would have imagined that nearly 80 years on the illustrator’s peculiar cast of characters would still hold a place in popular culture. Though no longer in the funny pages, the adventures of the Addams Family — which made the leap to television in the 1960s and hit the big screen in the 1990s — can still be seen onstage thanks to the award-winning The Addams Family. Since closing on Broadway in 2011, the musical comedy has made its way into theaters around the world, including Dos Pueblos High School’s Elings Auditorium, where it opens April 7.
“This is a show that students were really excited about and brought to my attention,” said DP Theater Director Clark Sayre of how The Addams Family made the grade. “One huge criterion for choosing shows for a high school cast is that there are good ensemble opportunities … In addition to the great character songs you’d expect, there are terrific group numbers, as well, like ‘Death Is Just Around the Corner’ and ‘When You’re an Addams.’”
Among the cast are Nolan Montgomery, winner of the S.B. Teen Star 2017 vocal competition; Nicole Trujillo, a Teen Star 2017 finalist; and Sierra Kelly, whose work includes a starring role in a Cannes International Film Festival–accepted short film.
Although a comedy, the play has poignant social and political pertinence. “The musical is very topically relevant to today’s current political climate — come expecting lots of current references,” Sayre said. “In this telling, the Addams live in a mansion in Central Park and welcome the Beinekes from the ‘swing state of Ohio.’ The challenge for the characters in the musical (and for the country as a whole) is to reconcile differences and come together … they often break the fourth wall and sing directly to the audience, which is always lots of fun.”
The Addams Family runs April 7-8 and 21-22 at 7 p.m., and on April 8 and 22 at 2 p.m., at Elings Performing Arts Center (7266 Alameda Ave., Goleta). Call 968-2541 x4670 or see dptheatrecompany.org.