The Addams Family
Music Directed by Kelly Schaaf
Produced by Jessica Holt and Kristi Lee Tomenga
in conjunction with MainStage Irving-Las Colinas
Reviewed by Grant Palmore
Do you hear it?: A catchy prowling melody on the breeze punctuated by two crisp finger snaps? Look toward the darkness! The Hopeful Theatre Project’s production of The Addams Family snapped onto the scene recently at Mainstage 222 in Irving, TX (Directed by Jessica Holt, Music Directed by Kelly Schaaf, and Co-Produced by Jessica Holt and Kristi Lee Tomenga in conjunction with Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas). This production supports the charity Anthem Strong Families with 75% of each ticket sale.
Everyone in the titular family seems up to their typical grisly groove until daughter Wednesday (played in delightful deadpan by Sofi Warren) begins to fall for a regular guy next door, Lucas Beineke (played with nerdy charm by Karl Martin). Concerned by what is to come, Wednesday enlists her father Gomez to help make the introduction of Lucas and his family go over smoothly. Thus begins an exploration of the wild, weird and worrisome perils of new inter-family dynamics as the abnormal Addams brush shoulders and break bread with the Beineke clan: Lucas and his parents, Mal and Alice (played by Joshua Sherman and Kristina Bain respectively).
The cast proves star-studded. Kyle Holt oozes charm and fun as family patriarch Gomez Addams. His range and ability impress – in one moment cracking jokes with ease, in another delivering emotional scenes that bring a tear to your eye – all in a power-house voice. Alongside him is lovely wife Morticia (played with arresting command by Danielle Miller). Miller exudes elegance and poise and perfected the art of the one-liner. Filling out the rest of the eccentric Addams house is gruesome brother Pugsley Addams, silly Uncle Fester, kooky wise-cracking Grandma, stoic attendant Lurch, and hairy little Cousin It (played by Owen Garcia, Nathan Rubens, Rachel Harmon, Jacob Fisher, and Mila Nelson respectively). Plus, the show boasts an ensemble of talented and entertain back-from-the-dead Addams Ancestors!
The Hopeful Theatre Project’s production dazzles. The set is an appropriately ghoulish palette of blacks and grays and morphs easily from scene with additional decor (Technical and Set Design by Conor Clark, Painting by Kat Dennis, and Prop Design by Kate Kimmis). The quality costumes and detailed makeup continue the macabre presentation (Costume Design by Jessica Holt and Makeup Design by Sarah Phillips). And all of these elements come together nicely to display Kristi Lee Tomenga’s flashy and energetic choreography!
A special note for the considerations made to accommodate for a sensory-friendly performance. Every element of the production considered these needs. The lightning design did not include any full blackouts and the sound was played at lower levels (Lighting and Sound Design by Branson White). The exit remained open and allowed audience members to move in and out as needed. Perhaps my favorite detail was the story and cast introduction at the start of the show. Director Jessica Holt introduced the premise of the show, identified each cast member, and explained how props were used safely onstage. This discussion engaged the audience and allowed all parties to feel prepared for the storytelling ahead.
Like Gomez says, “I’m happy/sad.” I am sad to tell you that at the time of this review, this wonderful production has completed its successful run; however, I am happy to report the excellence of The Hopeful Theatre Project’s production of The Addams Family. If the quality of The Addams Family is any indication of future shows, you’ll want to get tickets for their next production, The Little Mermaid, as soon as possible!
Audience Rating: PG13 (violent situations, language)
Run Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, approximately 15 minute intermission
Accessible Seating: Available
Hearing Devices: Not available
Sensory Friendly Performance: Nov 11, 2023
Production Sound Level: Comfortable volume level for music and sound effects
Noises or Visuals to Prepare For: Some fake weaponry used
Check it out!