Presented by Scotch College
Reviewed 29 July 2017
The musical version of The Addams Family, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and lyrics and music by Andrew Lippa, is delightful, but this production by Scotch College is UTTERLY delightful!
Scotch College always put on great shows, but of all the ones that this reviewer has seen, this year’s offering would have to be the best (or at least equal to their production of Jesus Christ Superstar). It is pretty well near being faultless.
It’s always hard to believe you are actually watching a school production with Scotch and this time round it is nigh on impossible to believe that you are watching one. This is due largely to resident Director, Adam Goodburn and Choreographer Linda Williams. Goodburn knows how to cast and get the very best out of his cast, even down to the strangest of characters such as Thing and Cousin Itt (Jasmyn Setchell and Bella Mittiga respectively). He is also the master of stage blocking and delivery of dialogue: in the case of this show, comic timing in particular. Comic timing is a talent not all adult performers can master, but it is so essential to this show and the young cast are extremely good at it. Williams’ choreography is wonderfully quirky and ‘zombie’ like, and the entire cast are very well versed in performing it, with also great timing from all.
This year’s production sees a new Musical Director, Briony Nickels on board, and she makes her presence felt with great vocals and harmonies from the cast and a band that produces a glorious sound.
The writers of the musical version seem to base their head of the family, Gomez Adams on the film version as portrayed by the late Raul Julia, rather than that made famous by John Astin in the 60s television series. To that end Jordan Tomljenovic, in this production, is Julia reincarnated – right down to the very smooth Spanish accent. This is a bravura performance from this young man and he teams wonderfully with Tayla Prime as a truly believable Morticia. Their Tango De Amor in the second act is worth the price of admission alone.
As wonderful as these two are, however, Hannah Hamilton steals the show as Wednesday. She seems to have a very powerful adult singing voice for someone so young and her rendition of Pulled leaves one with goosebumps. As her brother, Pugsley, whom she likes to torture and who equally likes to be tortured, Joshua Spiniello also has a fine voice and leaves one quite emotional at the end of What If.
On the night reviewed, Harry Fiedler as Uncle Fester started a touch shakily, but soon warmed our hearts and by his great second act number, The Moon And Me, had us wanting to go into orbit with him.
Charlie Miller was suitably ‘weird cat lady’ in style as Grandma, whilst Nicholas Burt as the butler, Lurch, proved what laughs can be had from uttering unintelligible grunts and having the best dead-pan ‘poker face’ ever.
As the ‘normal’ (or in the Addams’ eyes, ‘weird’) Beineke family, Matthew Daniell (the son, Lucas), Phoenix Starr Hentschke (the father, Mal) and Lola Williams (the mother, Alice) all do well. In particular, Hentschke, as a suitably stuffed shirted businessman, with a secret, the reveal of which is hilarious and delivered well by him.
Add a great ensemble as a ‘load of dead people’ and a great set design centred around a ‘funeral black’ front curtain and you have a slick, pacy, absolutely marvellous production – one that this reviewer wanted to see again as soon as it finished.
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Venue: The Chapel, Scotch College
Season: 28 July-5 Aug 2017
Duration: 2 hours 30 mins (including interval)
Tickets: Adults $30 Conc $20
Bookings: Kate Crawshaw, Performing Arts Secretary Ph 8274 4210 Email [email protected]
Photo Credit: Tim Allen