Thanks to PCPA, we can now snap fingers along with America’s First Family of Goth as the stars of a musical comedy. While the story skews conventional — Wednesday Addams invites her normal boyfriend and his parents to dinner — this excellent production succeeds thanks not only to a superb cast, but also to a magnificent collaborative effort by the director and his team of choreographers and scenic and costume designers.
Tyler Matthew Campbell narrates as the genial, gender-ambiguous Uncle Fester. His comings and goings include a hilarious bit requiring Fester, a large person, to cross an entire row of seated audience members. Like the family’s iconic double finger snaps, Fester’s move draws viewers in to the Addams’ dark web of fun. George Walker gives a dazzling performance as Gomez Addams. This fast-talking Latin patriarch has great dance moves, a supple singing voice, and a dilemma that’s the logical outcome of his proudly uxorious nature: an inability to stand up to his wife. As Morticia Addams, Melinda Parrett gives a performance that grows more complex and interesting with each scene.
Stunning newcomer Jisel Soleil Ayon makes a glamorous and lively Wednesday. If only the plot didn’t push her so far in the direction of normal! After all, this is the little girl who pretty much invented “resting bitch face.” Still, there’s great fun to be had when Wednesday tortures her brother, Pugsley (Stephanie Roman), and there’s strong chemistry in her scenes both with Gomez and with her boyfriend, Lucas Beineke (Tiago Santos).
Andrew Philpot and Jennie Greenberry start out providing contrast as Mal and Alice Beineke, the conventional parents who come to dinner, but after Pugsley slips something from Grandma’s stash into Alice’s drink, Greenberry lights up the game of “Full Disclosure” with her honest abandon. Congratulations to the entire crew on creating this dark and delicious entertainment.