Reviewed by Priscilla Issa
North Shore Theatre Company’s rendition of the musical “The Addams Family” was an electrifying journey through the “mysterious and spooky” world of the Addams clan. The production was a musical feast for the senses, with musicianship that ranged from haunting to powerfully evocative, and it had the audience in the palm of its ghostly hand from the very first note. Under the skillful direction of Kris Sergi, this production not only captured the essence of the iconic characters but also embraced the show’s underlying theme of love in all its bizarre and wholesome forms.
From the very first notes of the recognisable overture, the audience was transported back in time as the orchestra, led by the talented Daniel Baykitch and assisted by Jessica Tannous, delivered a rich rendition of the score. The opening signature tune, with its hauntingly familiar melody, elicited a wave of nostalgia that washed over the theatre, and the audience couldn’t help but join in with the signature clicks.
The show’s focus on love was beautifully portrayed by the lead cast. Chris Melotti’s performance of Gomez Addams was a combination of charm, sword-wielding prowess, and fierce loyalty to his family. Melotti masterfully captured Gomez’s vulnerability as a father torn between his daughter Wednesday and his responsibility to be honest and sincere with his wife Morticia in his rendition of ‘Happy Sad’.
Andrea Van Den Bol brought elegance and ethereal allure to the role of Morticia Addams. Her commanding stage presence, sonorous and controlled mezzo vocals in ‘Keep No Secrets’, and subtle charisma made her a captivating presence throughout the performance and a standout.
Erin Pacholke, as Wednesday Addams, also delivered incredible vocals, particularly in crowd-pleaser ‘Pulled’, and a nuanced performance that showcased her talent and potential for greatness in the Sydney music theatre scene. Her snarky remarks and confident demeamour perfectly embodied Wednesday’s character. Watch out theatre world - this is a star in the making!
Xavier Smith, as Lucas Beineke, brought sincerity and honesty to his love for Wednesday. The chemistry between Smith and Pacholke was palpable and added depth to the production. In fact, it was lovely to see them, whether intentional or not, mirroring the dynamic Gomez and Morticia. A lovely touch!
Thirteen-year-old Jack Waters gave an endearing performance as Pugsley Addams, and his dynamic with Pacholke was commendable. The two captured the love-hate often found in brother-sister relationships well.
Andrew Read’s portrayal of the “kooky” Uncle Fester was filled with light and wistful charm, especially in his love song to the moon. His live ukelele performance was without a falter or slip. His vocals were outstanding - that falsetto was impressively clear and resonant. His leadership of the ensemble of “answers” certainly tied the show together.
Ben Cody-Osborne’s Lurch, with his hilarious muffles and grunts, provided comic relief and added to the quirky charm of the Addams family. Eddi-Elle Mia’s physical theatre as Grandma captured the wackiness and cynicism of the character brilliantly.
The ensemble, including many performers in their theatrical debut with North Shore Theatre Company, brought their passion and love for the story to the stage. While occasional misshapen dancing formations may have been a result of the limited stage space, the performers demonstrated professionalism and carried out with gusto.
The props and set design, masterfully curated by Alan Roy, Rocco Sergi and Hornsby Gang Show, accurately conveyed the spookiness and darkness of the Addams Family abode, reminiscent of the well-loved 1991 classic movie adaptation.
The orchestra played the tricky score with tenacity and passion, despite occasional moments of slight tuning and timing issues.
Choreographers, Kate Anthonisz and Lauren Mackinnon, added a dimension to the show with their imaginative dance numbers, culminating in the captivating tango between Morticia and Gomez, which became an audience favourite.
This is a wonderful production of a well-loved musical, that celebrates the enduring theme of love. With a talented cast, skilled musicians, and a dedicated production team, this production brought to life the beloved Addams family with eerie charm and impeccable humour. Bravo to all involved for a memorable and entertaining evening!