Morticia and Gomez, played by seniors Noelle Ley and Christian Mauldin, embrace
each other in a dance during “When You’re An Addams."
Review by Sophie Christian, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team
"They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together…." at William Henry Harrison High School's production of The Addams Family!
Originally featured in The Addams Family comics, created by Charles Addams, The Addams are a family of not-so-normal individuals who enjoy the dark and scary side of life, specifically the concept of death. The original comics have been adapted into television shows, films, and now a musical. Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, The Addams Family musical follows this unique family through relatable conflicts such as love quarrels and growing up.
The cast and crew of Harrison High School's production not only worked hard to perform a show full of energy and eeriness, they also captured the audience with laughter and hilarity, and really put the "c" in creepy AND comedy.
Head of the Addams household are Gomez and Morticia Addams, played by Christian Mauldin and Noelle Ley, are a passionate, devoted couple who bring both spice and energy to the story. Both Mauldin and Ley presented their exemplary vocal and acting abilities and had amazing chemistry, comedic timing, and exquisite vocals that brought the enchanting relationship between the characters to life.
Although this production was full of laughs and hilarious moments, there is always room for a stand-out, lovable character who truly captures the comedic timing and leaves the audience laughing until their stomachs hurt. Uncle Fester, played by Gino Fiorino, was this lovable character, and whenever he appeared on stage there was never a dull moment. From love ballads to the love of his life, The Moon, played by Maddie Hall, to leading the deceased Ancestor Ensemble into the drama of the show, Fiorino had a hilarious performance as well as strong vocal moments that enhanced Fester's lovable personality.
Capturing the deep and dark atmosphere of the Addams home and environment requires unique individuals who know how to take the strangeness of the show to an extreme, and all crews of this production did a fantastic job at bringing the beloved story to life. The lighting, designed by Kaitlin Jacobs, contained a broad range of colors and warmness that captured intimate moments as well as vibrant scenes, being one of the main forces behind the energy of the show.
"When You're An Addams" anything can happen, and with the hard work of the theatre students at Harrison High School, every person in the audience became a member of the Addams family themselves.
Wednesday, played by senior Alexi Moore, tortures her little brother Pugsley,
played by fourth grader Sam Motsinger, as she sings “Pulled."
Review by Alexandra Hess, Campbell County High School Critic Team
The lights go down, a thick fog covers the stage, and a bone-chilling show is lurking in the shadows. William Henry Harrison High School Creative Arts Theatre's performance of The Addams Family was equally comedic as it was sinister.
The Addams Family was originally a series of comic panels created by Charles Addams in 1938, but it gained popularity from its 1960s television series, in which the characters were developed into the well-known family they are today . Then in 2010, it was adapted into one of the best recognized musicals of its time.
Lead actor, Christian Mauldin, who played Gomez, excelled with his acting, singing, and dancing. He owned the stage with his fluid tone and energetic movement. He effectively portrayed a large range of emotions, always projecting bold and realistic facial expressions. Gomez's wife and dance partner Mortica, played by Noelle Ley, was stunning in all her scenes and had a confident stage presence. She and Mauldin demonstrated phenomenal control and rhythm in their ballroom dance number, inspired by the Tango and Paso Doble.
The vocalization in the show was clear and precise. Two of these remarkable vocalists were Alexi Moore and Chloe Schewettmann, who played Wednesday and Alice. They both had steady breath control, which allowed them to better support longer and stronger notes. Along with their incredible singing, these two actresses brought a layer of complexity to each of their characters through their sensational acting choices.
While this show was flawlessly creepy, it also had multiple gags and satisfying comedic timing. Actors such as Estrella Soriano (Grandma), Ethan Roush (Lurch), and Matthew Rudolph (Lucas), knew how to make the audience laugh. All of the characters' cleverly placed pauses to allow for stronger humor to reach the audience. One standout comedic actor, Gino Fiorino, who played Fester,appeared to understand the importance of physical comedy to his character. He always made bold choices that made for an entertaining performance, which added variety among the main characters' personalities.
The technical elements were very important to the overall production quality of the show. Lighting crew members, such as Kaitlin Jacobs, had impressively quick lighting changes. They were able to completely change the overall feel of the show with their brilliant use of colors and spot lights, transforming the scene at the literal snap of a finger. The costume department, headed by Ashley Reckelhoff had an ambitious task to complete. They had to develop costumes to accurately portray the fashion styles of many historical eras and regions of the world. Not only did they accomplish this feat, but all the costumes were distinctly detailed and truthful to the wide variety of time periods.
Maddie Hall was also an essential part of the overall production. Along with playing The Moon and a featured ancestor in the ensemble, she also choreographed some of the show's dance numbers such as "The Moon and Me." Her inventive and well-executed choreography created a pleasing sense of fluidity to the performance.
Overall, this was a hilariously sinister show with an incredibly talented cast and crew that brought The Addams Family to life.
Uncle Fester, played by senior Gino Fiorino, is surrounded by the Addams
Ancestors as he tells them about Wednesday’s new love interest, Lucas Beineke.
Review by Ella Jones, Ursuline Academy Critic Team
Goth has never gone out of style, and Harrison High School will make you believe it in their production of The Addams Family by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, and Andrew Lippa.
Based on the beloved characters created by Charles Addams, this musical follows the star-crossed romance of Wednesday Addams and Lucas Beineke. Hoping that the differences between the eccentric Addams and the cookie-cutter Beinekes can be reconciled over one dinner, Wednesday entrusts her father with the task of making sure everything goes well. Gomez, however, quickly realizes he is in over his head.
Harrison High School creates a fantastic production of the whimsical, and sometimes terrifying, production of The Addams Family, with both their cast and crew fulfilling their roles to make a wonderful experience.
Christian Mauldin as Gomez nails the characterization of the romantic and devoted, yet childish father. From his Spanish accent to his flourishes across stage, his performance is a sight to see. Playing the role of his adored wife, Morticia, Noelle Lay particularly shines during her solo songs, such as "Just Around the Corner," her vocals being strong and clear.
Wednesday, played by Alexi Moore, is a particular power-house in the vocal department. In songs such as "Pulled" and "Crazier Than You," she hits every note with deadly accuracy, just like Wednesday taking a shot from her bow and arrow. Estrella Soriano as Grandma must also be noted, for she made the audience roar with laughter countless times with line delivery and comedic timing.
One integral aspect of this production was the time went into makeup and hair. Sarah Boeh and Leah Marx did an excellent job of making the costumes not only accurate, but believable. From Morticia's beautiful floor length dresses to Fester's (played by Gino Fiorino) pale, bald head, the costumes and makeup crew did an excellent job giving this crazy show a sense of realism. Lighting also helped this show's success. With the constant spotlights following the ever-dancing characters and the haunting lighting of the forest, Kaitlin Jacobs created the spooky and dramatic ambience that characterizes the Addams Family.
Harrison High School brings The Addams Family back from the dead in style, proving once again that it's cool to be goth.
The Addams and Beineke family dinner has gone completely awry after several full
disclosures, and Wednesday Addams climbs upon the dinner table to stop the chaos.
Excerpts From Other Top Reviews
"Another vocal performance that deserves recognition is Alice, played by Chloe Schwettmann. During her solo song, "Waiting," Chloe's powerful belts expertly conveyed Alice's strong emotions toward her loveless marriage."
-Claire Buirley, School For Creative and Performing Arts Critic Team
"While the actors showed the audience the quirky nature of black versus yellow, the crew worked tirelessly to create the spectacular technical elements of the production. Notable works include the beautiful lighting design by Kaitlin Jacobs and the fantastic costumes and makeup work done by Ashley Reckelhoff, Sarah Boeh, and Leah Marx. The lighting's most hilarious uses are seen throughout Gomez's lyrical asides in the first act and the lightning that nearly strikes Gomez when he lies to Morticia. The costume work by Ashely Reckelhoff suits each character's personality perfectly and matches the makeup work displayed by Sarah Boeh, and Leah Marx in an absolutely stunning manner."
-Peyton Pope, Highlands High School Critic Team
"Alexi Moore delivered an incredibly captivating performance as Wednesday Addams. The deadpan delivery of some of her lines paired with her emotional conversations with Lucas and her parents was dynamic and perfectly executed. Her lover Lucas Beineke, played by Matthew Rudolph, perfectly encompassed the role and his display of trust at the end of the show was genuine and left the audience being able to see the growth of the couple."
-Ryan Peerless, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team
"Aside from the engaging performance done by the actors, the technical elements did an equally attractive job. Most notable, were the costumes done by Ashley Reckelhoff and crew which featured stunning and unique costumes for each cast member. Specifically, because there were so many ancestors, the crew did a wonderful job of being creative and allowing each costume to stand out. In addition, the contrasting colors of the bright Beineke Family and the black Addams family helped uphold the contradiction between the two."
-Lily Clark, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team
"In a series of huge rotating pieces, the set (Ava Whitis, Lilly Montavon, Kaitlin Jacobs, Gwen Williams, and crew) pulled every aspect of the performance together. Between the portraits, deep red walls, and swinging chandeliers, there was never a doubt of whose house this show was set in. The moveable pieces gave distinct feels to each location throughout the story, and provided ample landscape for the actors to work off of. The lighting crew (Kaitlin Jacobs) had fantastic comedic timing - with just a spotlight and a switch in colors, a joke was made."
-Wren Kitchings,Ursuline Academy Critic Team
"As well as the parents, Gino Fiorino played Uncle Fester did a superb job of narrating the love story between Wednesday and Lucas. Uncle Fester also had some hilarious jokes that were very well-timed. Lucas was played by Matthew Rudolph that did amazing, showing the love that Lucas showed for Wednesday"
-Blake Wanek, Taylor High School Critic Team
"As a whole, William Henry Harrison High School's production of The Addams Family was comical yet heartfelt. Audience members were left possessed with an inspired enthusiasm and were simply dying for more."
-Katie Buschle, Highlands High School Critic Team