“The Addams Family” at the 6th Street Playhouse

The creepy and kooky Addams family comes to life at the 6th Street Playhouse through October.

Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love. She invites her boyfriend, Lucas, and his parents over for dinner, begging her family for just “one normal night.” Things go awry, of course, and the story hurtles toward darkness — which, in this case, isn’t a bad thing!

The 6th Street Playhouse is a fantastic venue, converted from a cannery into a theater in 2005. The 184-seat auditorium is a nice — big enough to hold a substantial audience, but small enough so there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

As for The Addams Family musical, the 6th Street Playhouse does the show justice. The production values are high — a live band, well-done lighting and sets, and great costumes — and the acting is very good.

Michael RJ Campbell steals the show as Gomez Addams, the family’s patriarch. His wild expressions work for this over-the-top character, and he balances his performance with subtle tender moments.

Opposite Campbell, Shannon Rider does well as Morticia Addams. She manages a rather revealing but constraining costume gracefully, which is no mean feat, and is believable in the iconic role. Avi Vozaitis plays Pugsley and Shawna Olivia Eiermann plays Wednesday, the two Addams children. Vozaitis is the perfect pugnacious little brother, and Eiermann plays the keystone role with a lot of passion.

Lucas Beineke, Wednesday’s boyfriend, played by Adam Blankenship, is good throughout. He shines during “Crazier than You,” which was the musical highlight of the show. Mal and Alice Beineke, Lucas’ parents, are played by Chris Schloemp and Kim Williams. They are great supporting actors, but the characters are so archetypal that I keep wanting to call them “Brad” and “Janet.”

The rest of the supporting cast is also solid. Most notably, mollie boice’s portrayal of Grandma was excellent.

The only complaint I have to level about this production is the writing and score. It’s not terribly imaginative, but it’s not downright “bad,” either.

Overall, this production of The Addams Family is a great tribute to the iconic characters, with excellent production values. A lovely evening at the theater. I’m looking forward to seeing my next show at 6th Street

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