OCEAN CITY — There’s nothing unusual about a little teenage rebellion, even if you’re an Addams.
In this year’s spring musical from the Ocean City High School Drama Guild, that means dark and creepy Wednesday Addams turning up in a bright yellow dress, in love with a clean-cut boy from a respectable family.
More than 100 OCHS students have been working on “The Addams Family Musical” for months, building sets, learning the songs and dance steps, getting ready for the upcoming performances at the Nancy and William Hughes Performing Arts Center.
More work went into the elaborate costumes as well. The opening scene includes a big dance number, featuring a stage full of ghostly Addams family ancestors.
Director Robert LeMaire said he liked that the play had so many parts.
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“I look at the cast. I try to pick something that really highlights their talent. And something that will bring people in,” he said. “We do try to bring shows in that we haven’t done before.”
LeMaire is a technology specialist at the school and has been involved with the East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May for years. He first got involved in the OCHS productions in 2010, but has not worked on the productions every year.
Work began on the musical in December, he said, with the students putting in enormous effort to prepare for four performances. Shows are planned 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22; Friday, March 23; and Saturday, March 24, at the Hughes Performing Arts Center on Sixth Street between Atlantic Avenue and the Boardwalk, with an additional matinee 2 p.m. Saturday.
Late Monday afternoon was controlled chaos backstage and spilling out into the high school hallways as the students prepared for their first dress rehearsals while getting media interviews and photos for the yearbook out of the way.
OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City High School Drama Guild will present "The Addams Family" March 2…
TJ Rumer, playing family patriarch Gomez Addams, described the play as “The Birdcage” meets “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Wednesday Addams is now 18 and bringing her boyfriend and his family to meet her parents.
Rumer, a senior, has been in every OCHS musical since he was a freshman, including performing as Dr. Frankenstein in “Young Frankenstein” and as Birdie in “Bye-Bye Birdie.” He hopes for a career in musical theater and said he’s sent audition tapes to six schools, getting back four acceptances so far, with hopes for two more.
As with many school productions, there are two casts that will perform on different nights. LeMaire has called them the Raul cast and the John cast, for John Astin, who created the role of Gomez Addams for the beloved 1960s sitcom, and the late Raul Julia, who brought the character to the big screen in the 1990s. The characters were born out of the macabre cartoons Charles Addams created for the New Yorker starting in the 1930s, featuring a family that embraces most of what others see as frightening, morbid or disturbing.
In the musical, Wednesday’s turn toward the sunny is its own kind of rebellion, said Stella Schwartz, a junior and one of the two students cast as the character. She’s wearing the black outfit with the white collar familiar from the television show, while sophomore Victoria Robertson, also playing Wednesday, wears brilliant yellow with polka dots.
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Schwartz said part of the show explores the character finding her own way in the world, while Robertson said it also shows that some things that are considered strange aren’t so strange after all, and other things seen as normal may not quite be that, either.
Senior Natalie Katsiff, playing Morticia, has also been in several productions. She said she usually ends up playing “ditzy blondes,” and so was happy to get a chance to play a much different character.
“I love Morticia. She’s so serious. She’s almost regal. She’s not like any character I’ve ever been,” Kastiff said. “It’s a chance for me to grow as an actress.”
The musical comedy originally ran for 722 performances on Broadway, and has become the most popular musical performed by amateur theater groups, surpassing “The Sound of Music” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” according to a news release on the production.
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The cast includes Dennis Adams, Andrew Arsenault, Kayla Attiya, Jay Barrett, Elizabeth Buch, Caroline Byrne, Chad Callahan, Maggie Corcoran, Trevor Corcoran, Ella Curtin, Haley DePersenaire, Gabriella DiMarco, Billy Flynn, Ashley Gereaghty, Nathan Goudie, Karen Greenwood, Ashley Hoffman, Madison Holmes, Adam Hubbi, Natalie Katsiff, Kayla Killian, Shane Kirby, Luke Leonetti, Danna Luciano, Seaira Manning, Sophia McCarty, Morgan McLees, Sophia Meyler, Emily Mora, Valerie Morrison, Katie Muller, Dan Mulraney, Shannon Mulraney, Kelly Nyman, Ellen O’Brien, Haleigh Perry, Lilirose Phillips, Hailee Pietrowitz, Kayla Pietrowitz, Isabella Roache, Victoria Robertson, Emma Rodriguez, TJ Rumer, Sara Ruth, Sylvia Rutkowski, Conrad Schmidt, Stella Schwartz, Emily Smith, Andrew Stremme, Emily Torrence, Kat Trout, Meredith Urban, Gabbi Verducci, Erik Wagner, Gabrielle Waid, Jenna Wilkinson, Julia Wilson, and Jessica Wriggins.
The Ocean City High School Stage Crew members working on this production include Robin Altman, Justin Berry, Sadie Degennaro, Max Fisher, Paul Giordano, Marley Goudie, Kylee Grandmaison, Emily He, Tyler Hogg, Sophie Koval, Kira Layton, Tanner Mitzel, Nicole Moore-Kittner, Justin Nelson, Dylan Peck, Julia Pestalozzi, AliJane Robel, Jacob Schneider, Jennifer Stevens, Micah Waid, Sean Walsh, Tyler Williams, and Sarah Zigner.
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Ocean City students and staff appear with the pit orchestra, including Andrew Biglin, Frank Butterick, Tym Cox, Gabriel Doughty, Alexandra Errickson, Isabelle Heng, Andrew Holloway, Christopher Horan, Elijah Kuchler, Christopher May, Victoria Patella, Georgia Roache, Dominic Scalfaro, Noah Schneider, Alex Town, Pete Wiggins and Kate Wyatt along with accompanist Scott Breiner and conductor Donna Schwartz.
Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $15 for adults. Tickets will be available at ochsdramaguild.org or by calling the high school box office at 609-399-1290, ext. 1442. A $1.50 surcharge will be added to tickets bought at the door. For more information, see ochsdramaguild.org or call the high school at 609-399-1290.