‘The Addams Family’ — where weird is relative

CROW presents dark new musical in April

When the very recognizable theme for “The Addams Family” begins to play in a crowded room, it’s a safe bet that at least a few people will sing and snap along. Many of us grew up watching this bizarre family and giggling at their darkly comical antics.

On April 21 to 23, Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshops (CROW) will perform “The Addams Family” musical at Florence Events Center, and the Florence based nonprofit youth theater group is very excited about the spooky possibilities.

For those who may have been hiding under a headstone, “The Addams Family Musical” takes a wild and wacky spin on the creepy and lovable television show of the same name that became a cult-classic since it first aired in 1964. The TV show was based off of Charles Addams’ The New Yorker cartoons.

In the musical version, Wednesday Addams — the young “queen of darkness” from the TV show — is now a teenager who is engaged to marry a boy her parents have yet to meet. Morticia, the elegant matriarch of the Addams family, is in a sudden state of confusion and disbelief as she realizes her daughter is on the verge of becoming an adult.

Wednesday wants her boyfriend, Lucas, and his parents to meet her quirky family. But at the same time, she is mortified at the idea of shattering the “normal” image of her lifestyle.

There are lots of other surprises and scenarios created by various other members of the Addams clan.

“What exactly is normal?’’ quips Heard. “Wednesday thinks that she’s the weird one because her family looks and acts so differently. But Lucas thinks he’s weird because his mother writes poems and likes to wear the color yellow. I think what it boils down to is that all teenagers are sometimes overly sensitive and worried about outside perceptions. It takes human beings a long time before we become comfortable in our own skin.”

“The Addams Family” musical first previewed on Broadway in 2010 at the Lunt-Fontanna Theatre in Manhattan. The show was written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, who had previously penned the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys.” Music and lyrics were by Andrew Lippa, who also contributed music and lyrics for several other Broadway productions, including “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” in 1999 and “Big Fish” in 2013. With popular actors Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth playing Gomez and Morticia Addams, the Broadway production of the show was able to create a large fan base before the curtain was ever raised for the first show. It ultimately would go on to be the fastest show in Broadway history to net one billion dollars.

CROW’s slightly less extravagant (but only slightly) production is financially supported by many members of the Florence Community and beyond. This year’s Platinum Sponsors ($1,000+) include: Chad Clement DDS/PC, Florence Elks #1858, Foglio’s Dropbox Service, Keeping the Arts Foundation, Lane County Cultural Coalition, Laurel Bay Gardens & Nursery, Florence Shipping Solutions and Waterfront Depot/Le Bouchon. Gold Sponsors ($500+) include The Johnston Family (in honor of Ralph and Dean Matile) and Oregon Pacific Bank of Florence.

CROW’s “The Addams Family” cast members include Jacob Molano as Gomez Addams, Alex Saindon as Morticia Addams, Kristin Owens as Wednesday Addams, Andre Felkins and Owen Harklerode alternating as Pugsley Addams, Hannah Rasmussen as Grandma Addams, Jacob Ternyik as Fester Addams, Ceasar Castillo as Lurch Addams, along with Cameron Utz as Lucas Beineke, Alizabeth Norton as Alice Beineke and William Owens as Mal Beineke, to name a few.

There are 44 talented young stars in the mainstage cast, plus an additional 10 telegrammers, ready to steal your hearts from your chests and your dollar bills from your wallets in the lobby.

“The Addams Family Musical” is family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. There will be four public performances, April 21 at 7 p.m., April 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for youth 12 and under.

For tickets, visit www.eventcenter.org  or call the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St., at 541-997-1994.

For more information on the show and the CROW program, visit www.crowkids.com.