PITTSBURG — A familiar family is finding its way onto the stage at Pittsburg High School this weekend.
The PHS Music Repertory Theatre class is presenting The Addams Family. The musical about the family with an affinity for the macabre opened Thursday and runs through Saturday at PHS.
Music Repertory Theatre is a joint effort between Theatre Teacher Greg Shaw, Band Director Cooper Neil and Vocal Instructor Susan Laushman. The three instructors combine classes to put on a full production musical.
Shaw serves as director, Laushman instructs actors on vocal numbers, and the music for the play is performed by the PHS Jazz Band in the orchestra pit. Even the tech, costuming and set building is done by students.
“We’ve got 31 students on stage, about 15 more in the pit, and another 15 doing tech,” Shaw said. “The students put this show on, there’s four adults and nearly 70 students.”
“The Addams Family” musical is a quirky story about Wednesday Addams and her struggles with love. Her whole family gets pulled into the mess as she tries to keep secrets from her mother and coach her family through a dinner with the man she loves and his parents.
After doing “Letters to Sala,” Shaw said he was looking for something a little lighter. He said “The Addams Family” has great writing and music, and he thought the students would enjoy it. The other bonus was the strong characters and difficulty music and roles.
“Nobody can hide in this play, and that’s what I really like,” Shaw said. “It’s got really strong characters and our students are having to push themselves and work really hard.”
The cast will put a smile on the faces of audience members familiar with the movie, sitcom or comic strip. Andrew Ortolani and Sammy Jamison play especially lovable versions of Gomez Addams and Uncle Fester, respectively.
The costumes are beautifully gothic, the music is great, and the dialogue is hilarious. The whole PHS crew has really pushed the boundaries with the sets as well, adding in special effects and moving parts to create a dynamic set in a limited area.
“I think we have done a good job recognizing our limitations and making them our calling card,” Shaw said.
The whole Addams Family is spot on, and the musical numbers will make you want to tap your feet. McKenna Shaw as Wednesday Addams and Cassie Hurt-McLarty as Alice Beineke deliver standout vocal solos, but every vocal piece and bit of choreography was well executed.
Tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for children and are available at the door. Shows are at 7 p.m. November 18 and 19, with a 2 p.m. matinee on November 19. All shows take place in the Pittsburg High School Auditorium.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.