The morbidly funny 'Addams Family Musical' shows off lively songs and Wednesday's desire to just be normal. (Carol Rosegg)
If you know anything about the fictitious Addams Family, you know they thrive on, well, death.
But you’ll find messages about life in “The Addams Family Musical,” says Kaleen Snowgren. She will play the iconic Morticia Addams when the play comes to the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township this weekend.
As Snowgren explains, one message about life comes across during a dramatic moment in the song “Just Around the Corner.”
“All of the ensemble gets to come out on the lip of the stage,” she says. “And I get to point to members of the audience, and it’s kind of this eerie, threatening, yet wonderful reminder that you’ve got to live life to the fullest because anything can happen.”
“Just Around the Corner” is one of the more than 20 original songs in the musical adaptation of the macabre “Addams Family” television show that aired from 1964 to 1966 before going into syndication.
The musical revolves around daughter Wednesday Addams, described as the ultimate princess of darkness, who is not the little girl she was on the television show and movies. She is 18 years old and is engaged to a sweet, smart young man, Lucas Beineke, from a respectable Ohio family — a man her parents Gomez Addams and Morticia have never met.
When Wednesday (played by Jennifer Fogarty) confides in her father about her engagement, Gomez must do something he has never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife. Everything will change for the whole family on the night they host a dinner for Wednesday's “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
Fogarty says that while Wednesday has the same dark demeanor of the television show and movie role, her character is a bit different.
“She’s smiling,” says Fogarty. “She’s showing a different side of herself than people have ever seen before.”
Fogarty’s favorite song in the performance is “One Normal Night,” sung before her fiance’s family arrives for dinner.
“She wants them to come off as normal to the Beineke family,” Fogarty says. “You can imagine they are different from the very dark, and kooky and creepy Addams Family. So it’s a plea; she’s asking her family to help her out for one night.”
Fogarty says her “take away” about life from the musical is that it is OK to be yourself.
“People always say that the show is so funny and they have such a great time,” she says. “And I actually think Wednesday’s a great role model. I get messages from these young girls who are thanking me for letting them know that it’s OK to be different. And I think that they’re taking that away from this crazy and kooky musical.”
'The Addams Family Musical'
7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday
Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
Call (586) 286-2222
Andrea Daniel is a freelance reporter.