In the spirit of Halloween, composer Andrew Lippa and librettists Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s 2010 musical adaptation of “The Addams Family” will be presented Oct. 31-Nov. 17 at Wright State University.
Inspired by Charles Addams’ cartoons, the musical is centered on dark, mysterious Wednesday Addams’ budding romance with well-mannered Lucas Beineke, which sends both sets of parents into a tizzy. Director Joe Deer says the core conflict of parental acceptance can be traced back to shows of the past from the classic plays of Kaufman and Hart to the flashy, feel-good musicals of Jerry Herman.
“We’ve seen this story a lot (because) it’s a timeless story,” he said. “It’s ‘You Can’t Take It with You.’ It’s ‘La Cage aux Folles.’ It’s about supporting your children in who they love and how they love and also finding yourself again in their experience. As a parent, one of the things you have to do is find out who your child loves and support them. There’s a reason stories like this keep coming back over and over again. It never stops being timely. It never goes out of date.”
After staging “Crazy for You” at WSU last season, Deer embraces another chance to dabble in musical comedy, particularly imparting the proper techniques.
“In physical comedy, many things are important,” he said. “In addition to understanding lines, I enjoy teaching my students what exactly is funny in a line or where are the possible ways to capture comic moments out of real human behavior. My students have grown hugely throughout this process. The rehearsals have been so fun, playful and incredibly professional. The students have been so focused. Overall, this is a really well-crafted show. Andrew Lippa is such a talented writer.”