A family affair - 'The Addams Family' musical comes to Pequot Lakes
They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky, and coming to the Pequot Lakes stage soon!
Pequot Lakes Community Theater is performing "The Addams Family, A New Musical," a dark comedy musical that opens Friday, Feb. 22, for a six-show run in Pequot Lakes.
The show centers around a grown-up Wednesday Addams who has fallen in love with a "normal" boy. Things go awry when Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the Addams family hosts a dinner to meet this young man's family.
Wednesday is played by 25-year-old Nicole Rothleutner, of Pequot Lakes, who is excited to embody the iconic character.
"The joke is that I was typecast, because I definitely can have a bit of dark humor," said Rothleutner, though she doesn't think her personality totally matches that of the dark Addams daughter. "I'm a little more expressive. I can be pretty bubbly."
Playing Wednesday on stage is a challenge, because her signature expression is fairly emotionless.
"Wednesday is very deadpan and very serious, so you have to be able to show emotion without showing emotion," said Rothleutner.
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'The Addams Family, A New Musical'
- When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22; Saturday, Feb. 23; and Friday March 1; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24; Saturday, March 2; and Sunday, March 3.
- Where: Pequot Lakes High School auditorium.
- Cost: $14 for adults, $10 for seniors age 60 and older, $12 for youth age 18 and younger. Call 218-568-9200 or buy tickets online at www.glapa.org.
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She knew about the classic Addams Family television show and subsequent movies, but hadn't heard about the musical until the Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts production was announced. She spent time before rehearsals getting to know the music as well as Wednesday's character.
The show is an adaptation of the classic, beloved Addams family while placing them in a new stage of life. This balance of consistency within the characters and unique interpretation by the actors can be tricky.
"I have to consider how everyone remembers Wednesday versus how she's grown over the years," said Rothleutner.
While this is Rothleutner's first lead role in a musical, she is no stranger to the stage. She has participated in community theater regionally for six years, and this will be her third season with Pequot Lakes Community Theater.
"You do both more and less as a lead," she said. "You have to be on stage for a lot of big things, but you get breaks in between. The ensemble is in basically every scene. And as a lead, if you make a mistake, there's no more 'maybe no one will notice.'"
Rothleutner said that even so, she felt confident and ready to take on the role of Wednesday.
"I was like, 'I'm ready. I got this,'" she said. "It's nice to be someone else, to get up on stage and be big, become that character."
Stephanie White, making her directorial debut with "The Addams Family" musical, said she knew Rothleutner, who happens to be her roommate, could handle the part.
"I just gave the role to the best person to fit that part," she said. "I know she can sing, she can act, and even though Wednesday doesn't really dance, (Rothleutner) is a triple threat. I'm happy for her that she got a bucket-list role she wanted."
Rothleutner said that evoking emotions in the audience like that is one of her favorite parts of acting.
"I like making people laugh, and I actually love when I can make people cry," she said. "I just love to make people feel things when they come to a show."
According to both White and Rothleutner, the cast of "The Addams Family" musical got along right away. The cast includes a mixture of GLAPA veterans and new, younger actors trying community theater for the first time.
"I love working with everyone," said Rothleutner. "I have been on stage with many of them before, but there's also a lot of, mostly high schoolers, that I haven't met before. It's been fun to watch them learn and to interact with all my theater friends."
One of those friends is Eddie Binda, who plays Wednesday's romantic interest, Lucas.
"Me and Eddie have been in shows together but never acted directly with each other," said Rothleutner. "I think we have pretty decent chemistry."
Binda and Rothleutner share a duet in act two called "Crazier Than You," where Wednesday and Lucas try to reconcile their relationship with their seemingly opposite personalities.
This fits with one of the central themes in the show - love will be tested, but can be worked through if the couple truly cares about each other. Gomez and Morticia Addams' characters, played by Ben Gordon and Kate Davis, likewise experience some strain on their relationship throughout the performance.
"This show is very relatable," said White. "Everyone has a family that they think is crazier than the others, everyone has turmoil in their marriages. It's great to show that all love relationships can work with communication."
Fans of the original Addams Family and anyone with a fondness for musicals and dark humor will get a kick out of this show, Rothleutner said.
"We all play our respective Addams very well," she said. "Everyone's been working really hard. They deserve the applause, we just have to get people in here."
"This show has a fabulous cast, crew and orchestra, she said. "These people have worked incredibly hard to put on this show, and I hope people enjoy it as much as we have putting it on."