At work, lots of people post up flyers about local events on our bulletin board in the foyer. Some of which were not permitted. So, a few weeks ago, I was checking for unapproved flyers. I came across one for the local high school play of the Addams Family. Halloween was approaching within the next few weeks, so it seemed like a great idea. My son wasn’t familiar with the Addams Family or plays, but I thought this would be a great opportunity to try something new. I remembered watching the Addams Family on television when I was young, so this definitely sparked my interest. Although, the only play I got to see was when I was in high school. In my freshman year, my school made it mandatory that all staff and students attend the Senior class play during class time. I wasn’t exactly impressed by it.
My experience from that one high school play may have deferred my interest of plays for the past 16 years. However, I have one fantastic friend who has been featured in many local plays and has run production for many of them as well. He is always sending me invites to attend one of his plays. I have been kind of intrigued, but the majority of his plays are not kid-friendly or something that my son could understand to hold his attention. I can’t attend them without my son because that’s basically an impossible occurrence. I much rather go to one that we can share together anyhow. I have appreciated my friend’s efforts to get me involved with his work, but I couldn’t help to look forward to watching a play that my son could actually get into – Sorry Pat!
So, in an awkward yet excited state, we took our chances of walking among many parents, siblings and friends of these high school actors and actresses. We purchased our tickets and then stood in a fairly long line. All of us were waiting for the doors to open, so we could snag some good front row seating. My son couldn’t quite grasp the concept of what we were doing, so he had many questions – many that were repetitive. Finally, the doors opened and slowly, but surely we found our seats.
The first thing we noticed was the fog that filled the room creating an eery atmosphere. My son pointed out the moon hanging over the stage had a face on it. He was mesmerized by it. We had a long wait until the play could actually get started. My son was getting anxious in his seat, “Are they starting now? I hear music”. “Not yet, the band is just practicing”, I replied. “Oh! I think they’re starting now!”, he insisted. “Not yet, the band is still practicing”, I reassured him. “What about now? What is taking so long?” he asked dreadfully. “Everyone hasn’t taken their seats yet. There’re people still coming in, and it’s not even 7 o’clock yet”. I could understand his frustrations, but I also knew that he was wired from the sugary sweets he ate at his Daycare Halloween party that evening. I was trying to be patient for the both of us. Then finally, the lights began to dim.
It started with Thing (the hand character) popping out of the fake brick box that was attached to the gate, he was waving to the crowd. Then, the theme song began with Thing snapping his fingers and then the whole Addams Family crew came out. My thoughts were, “How long was that person playing Thing inside that skinny box while he waited for the show to start? Must have been 45 minutes! Poor kid” lol. However, it was a great start and everyone in the audience was clapping along with the familiar and icon snaps of the Addams Family theme song. I tried to get my son to follow the rhythm. He smiled and tried his best.
The plot was simple, comical yet was able to deliver a message of compassion and love. The story entails Wednesday, the daughter of the Addams Family, had fallen in love and secretly engaged to a normal boy named Lucas. Lucas brings his parents over to the Addams Family home for dinner, which of course turns into a chaotic mess. There were many humorous lines, comical acts, beautiful musicals and just flawless performances. I was honestly blown away by the talent that was on that stage and the band as well. There were only a couple very minor errors that didn’t affect the performance of the play. In between scenes, I would whisper to my son asking him his thoughts so far, “I like it!” he would respond. He would constantly point out the changes of facial expressions of the moon, again he was mesmerized. He was constantly glowing in smiles due to the constant changes of scenes, lights and the beauty of the moon. I was impressed by the vocals on some of those actresses and actors, especially the girl who played Morticia. It was completely amazing.
The only thing that disappointed me was the unnecessary mature gestures of some lines and acts. One scene, Morticia yelled at Gomez that his mother smokes weed in the basement. Another scene was that Lucas’s mother accidentally drank a potion setup by the Addam’s brother, Pugsley. The potion was causing her to become “frisky”. Thankfully the lines cut short in expressing some inappropriate words linking to the insinuations of “intimate” moments with her husband. But then, she proceeded to crawl on the table like a drunken cat in heat. My son was weirded out by that part of the show as understood. Then, one of the last scenes was a tango dance from Morticia and Gomez. Morticia’s dress was raised, showing off her fishnet stockings. I can understand the realism of wanting these scenes in there, after all, it is a play and nothing is PG anymore. I wouldn’t have felt as awkward had my son not have been inquiring to find understanding during those scenes. Also, that these were high school children, and that’s how I saw them as – children playing slightly risky scenes.
Overall, I was impressed and pleased with the play. We had been blown away and thoroughly entertained. Minus the awkwardness of a couple of scenes, my son truly loved it. It was something new that we got to share and enjoy together. On our way to the parking lot and on our way home, we went over our favorite parts of the show. He loved that Uncle Fester fell in love with the moon and got to go rocket up to be with her. He laughed in remembrance of a comical scene where Gomez asked Lurch to hurry and grab the phone, as Lurch remains stuck in walking slow, he began to move his arms really fast to move himself along. It was really funny, I liked that part, too. We discussed many of other great scenes. It had remained stuck in our minds for the rest of the night. It was such a great experience and I hope to find more things like that to share with my son. However, I couldn’t help to ponder the days that my son will one day become a high school student and maybe I’ll be just like these parents in the audience. Maybe, I’ll be among them in bragging about our kids in passing in the hallway during intermission. I’ll point to the pamphlet and say that’s my kid playing whatever role. Maybe he’ll be in a play or maybe he won’t, but sometimes when you expose your child to different things, it opens their minds to explore different things that they may want to do in life. That’s why I love experiencing multiple things with him, to give him options in life and I’ll be there to explain and encourage it all. Whether, he wants to play a role in his high school play, climb mountains to reach the largest waterfall, I want to be able to clear my conscience that I was able to make them an option in his life.