I have to admit that when my dad suggested we go see a play, I was not the least bit thrilled. I’ve seen The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and several other sensational productions at The Orpheum but in my mind The Addams Family could in no way compare. I vaguely remembered the show from the 60’s with the creepy family who looked like they were in a constant state of mourning. I envisioned the longest three hours of my life listening to a mob of tortured souls ramble on about the meaning of life and death.
The pain I felt when I left wasn’t from boredom but from laughing so hard I could barely breathe. I was not prepared for sexual advances from Grandma or the hilarity that ensued from little Wenesday becoming a woman and finding a man. Each actor encompassed their role so well; you forgot they weren’t a real family. Gomez rolled his R’s & swung his sword like a true conquistadorrr while simultaneously hanging on his beloved Morticia’s every word. Morticia’s front plunging neckline caught me off guard in the opening scene but her wit & charming demeanor ultimately took center stage.
What most surprised me was how relatable the notoriously odd ball family was. Yes, they celebrate their dead relatives. Yes, they play with torture devices for fun. Though, I found an unexpected element of humanity watching a father struggle to please his wife and his daughter. I immediately connected to the battle between a protective mother and a daughter ready to venture out on her own. I laughed, I cried…. Ok, I really didn’t cry but there were definitely some aww’s heard through the crowd.
Even though this wasn’t performed in the same grandiose fashion as The Orpheum, the costumes were impeccable and this gifted group of performers didn’t need the Hollywood sized lights and sound effects. Their talent was enough. They owned the stage every second the curtains were open.
**Word to the wise: this is not as family friendly as you might think. I wouldn’t take any children younger than middle school age because of several inappropriate sexual references… that were hilarious but not for the babies!
All pictures except the last one are from Theatre Memphis
The show was Aug. 22 – Sept 14 (sorry I’m so late posting this)
Please see the Theatre Memphis website for details about upcoming shows times or call the Box Office: 901.682.8323.