ROCK SPRINGS – Western Wyoming Community College’s Performing Arts Department is proud to open its 2016-17 season with the musical comedy “The Addams Family,” premiering Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the WWCC Theatre, with additional shows on Oct. 22, 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children, students and seniors, and may be purchased online at http://wwcc.tix.com/ or by calling (307) 382-1721. Tickets may also be available at the door; however, demand for these performances is expected to be high, so patrons are encouraged to reserve their tickets in advance. Children under 5 will not be admitted to the evening performances; however, they are welcome to attend the 2 p.m. public matinee.
“The Addams Family” does contain some colorful language and innuendo, and it would be comparable to a PG rating for a film. Some material may not be suitable for children, and parental guidance is recommended.
Everyone knows the Addamses – that kooky, ooky family with the delightfully creepy home, the vampish mom and dapper dad Morticia and Gomez, the ghoulishly funny Uncle Fester, the Boris Karloff-ish butler Lurch, and two adorably odd offspring, Wednesday and Pugsley. But now, the dour Wednesday is a young woman in love with a boyfriend who is sweet, smart and “normal,” and she expects Gomez and Morticia to host a dinner party for her beau and his parents without freaking them out…or scaring them off.
In “The Addams Family,” the odd yet wonderful Addamses attempt to do just that, turning their household upside down with antics that will leave audiences laughing and even a little bit moved. As the show proves, everyone, no matter how odd, has a soulmate.
Director and Associate Professor of Musical Theatre and Voice Eric-Richard de Lora said he is thrilled to bring “The Addams Family,” one of his favorite childhood memories, to life for Sweetwater County audiences.
“I have always had a love affair with this cartoon since I was about 5 years old,” he said. “I looked forward to getting the New Yorker magazine in the mail and looking through it to find the ‘Addams’ cartoons. After 45 years, I was very excited when it opened on Broadway in 2010, and I have waited eagerly to direct it.”
De Lora said he would like for audience members, especially those who are fans of the original comic strip, television show or feature films, to bring their imaginations with them into this production, which features a new story that is similar to, yet distinct from, the TV series many will remember.
“Having an open mind will help the audience fall in love – all over again or for the first time – with this fun, weird, silly, and awkwardly delightful family,” the director said.
Jaiden Collins, a Rock Springs High School junior, portrays Miss Wednesday Addams.
“Honestly, one of the hardest parts of playing Wednesday is that she is such an iconic character,” Collins said. “The audience will probably have an idea of what they want her character to be like. In this show, Wednesday is growing up, she isn’t a little girl anymore, which makes her a lot different from the television and movie versions. I hope I can deliver what the audience is looking for but also shine a new light on her character.”
Collins said the show has been great fun to perform, not only because of the catchy tunes and clever script, but also because the show’s cast members have bonded over the material.
“The cast of this musical has become a family over these past few months, and it’s wonderful being able to do what you love with people that you love,” she said.
Erick Arellano, a first-year Western student from Rock Springs, said he was more than honored to land the role of the calm, collected and curious Pugsley Addams. He recalled stifling the urge to scream and shout after learning he’d gotten the part, keeping quiet only because his roommates were sleeping. The young actor was not familiar with ‘The Addams Family’ but said that he cracked down on his research after being cast. Arellano added that he has tried to remain true to who Pugsley Addams really is with his portrayal.
Arellano, who also performed in high school theatre at RSHS, said the transition to college has been startling but also exciting.
“Usually, with high school productions, we start at the end of the semester, but here we literally started the second day of school,” he recalled. “It was a scary experience but also an exciting process to start it so early.”
“The Addams Family” is based on characters created by Charles Addams, with Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa.
“The Addams Family” runs Oct. 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional public matinee Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children, students and seniors. For more information, contact the Performing Arts Office at (307) 382-1721.