“The Addams Family” at Runaway Stage Productions

Runaway Stage kicks off 2015 with The Addams Family, playing through Jan. 25.

The musical’s story revolves around Wednesday Addams, who has grown up and fallen in love. Wednesday has invited her boyfriend Lucas and his family to dinner, and she begs her family for “one normal night.” As in any good musical comedy, chaos ensues. And, eventually, all turns out right in the end.

The musical itself is cute with catchy music and fun, familiar characters and a lighthearted plot.

The characters are brought to life in Runaway’s production by a strong cast.

Carolyn Watling plays the dark and seductive Morticia Addams. Watling has a great voice, and brings a lot of personality to the potentially one-note character.

Karissa Lee Carleton plays Wednesday Addams, the keystone of the musical’s story. Her voice is one of the best in the show. “Pulled,” her first solo, was excellent, and she kept belting out impressive vocals through the whole show.

Chard Marquis’ charming Uncle Fester is very sweet, but his character needed more of an edge. Much of the action in the show is orchestrated by Fester, and Marquis’ soft-hearted depiction is hard to believe when Fester bullies the chorus of ghostly Addams ancestors into following his orders.

Mark Ettensohn’s Gomez Addams is fantastic. His voice is great, his character is sincere, and he absolutely steals the show. Ettensohn has a lot of stage time, and I found myself wishing he had even more.

The set and costumes in the show could have used a little more investment. It would have elevated the production from “nice show” to “bravo.” However, the overall production is a solid community offering, and it’s one of the better things that Runaway has produced recently.

The Addams Family plays through January 25. Tickets and more information can be found at http://www.runawaystage.com/.

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