Lights up: The Addams Family


Mrs. Khoury coordinating tech cues with Mr. Shepherd before the final dress rehearsal on Thursday.

The cast of the Addams Family musical held their final dress rehearsal on Thursday afternoon in the theater. Based on a spooky TV sit-com from the 1960s, The Addams Family Broadway Musical tells the story of love and friendship through adversity, with a comical spin.

The Addams Family is playing in the BOAT March 18-20.  Luke Weinbach and Kaycee Tompkins play the lead roles of Gomez and Morticia Addams. Merrit Brazell plays Uncle Fester, and Mills Owen plays daughter Wednesday Addams. The play tells the story of Wednesday and her boyfriend, Lucas, who is from a “normal” family. Lucas is played by Taylor Brown.

“Hammond has done a lot of classic plays, and a lot of plays other schools do,” said Mrs. Khoury, drama teacher and director of the show. “It was fun, and the cast of Clue [Hammond’s fall play] wanted to do something new and fun. The Addams Family also has a tie-in with TV shows and movies, so the idea of bringing that to the stage was exciting and challenging.”

The most unique thing about Hammond’s staging of the play is the way the set has been designed. Khoury said, “One of the most challenging things about it is the videos. This year we’re having live animations in the background, which hasn’t been done a lot anywhere.”  Mr. Shepherd, who teaches theater tech, created these live animations that move around depending on the scene. The realistic graphics include spooky trees and a full moon, and in some scenes, ghosts pop up.

Khoury also said that “the most challenging thing, acting-wise, was getting people who haven’t done a lot of theater get into the excitement and work of it.” Kaycee Tompkins, who plays Morticia, is the newest edition to Hammond’s theater department. “It is a lot of fun but a lot of work,” Tompkins said. “We spend a lot of time in the theater after school and on weekends preparing. I spend a lot of time reading my lines and songs.”

Khoury has been working here at Hammond for 15 years. “The collaboration with the students is my favorite thing,” Khoury said.

Elizabeth Cannon getting into costume, with Mary Margaret Mann in the background applying her make-up for the show.

Broadway musicals often have a large chorus of singers and dancers, and the ghostly “Ancestors” of the Addams family are the chorus members in this play. Brazell, who plays Uncle Fester, said, “I think it’s important that the Ancestors be referred to as ‘Fest-ettes.’” Sadie Meacham, one of the Ancestors, explained the nickname: “We have to dance with parasols around him in one scene.”

The show’s choreography was done by Hammond’s dance teacher, Mrs. Fowler. Margaret Harrell, another Ancestor, spoke of her favorite dance number in the show, the tango: “It’s perfect because it shows the chemistry Morticia and Gomez have for each other.”

Mary Margaret Mann, a junior, plays Alice (the boyfriend’s mother), who is devoted to her family and often puts aside her own desires. Mann played Miss Scarlet in Clue, so she’s no stranger to the Hammond stage. “The Addams Family in particular has lines in the middle of the songs, so that it the most challenging part of the musical for me,” she said. “The dynamic of the cast is really close. Everyone is fun to be around which relieves the stress of the show.”

The Addams Family Musical opens today and plays through the weekend. Show dates are Friday and Saturday at 7 PM and Sunday at 4 PM. The box office will open 30 minutes before each performance. Hammond faculty, staff, and students may see the show for free. Tickets for everyone else are seven dollars for adults, and five dollars for students who are guests.