Dinner on the darkish aspect: Sierra College of Performing Arts presents ‘The Addams Household’ musical at Bartley Ranch

The “new-boyfriend-meets-the-parents” trope is an previous chestnut in theater, movie and TV. It’s well-liked as a result of it really works as a straightforward, normally humorous gateway to a night of mishaps, miscommunication and common mayhem.

You’ll discover one other iteration this month on the Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, the place the Sierra College of Performing Arts presents The Addams Household, a musical comedy by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Capitalizing on the success of Netflix’s Wednesday and the longtime (inexplicable) reputation of the TV and movie franchises, this SSPA manufacturing takes that very same previous story and twists it, including a little bit of potion, some marital strife and a household that’s drawn to the darkish and miserable. It additionally showcases top-notch native expertise and makes for an pleasurable night time out.

Younger Wednesday Addams (performed by Anuhea Azevedo) has fallen in love. His identify is Lucas Beineke (Jeremy Uithoven), and he’s keen to satisfy Wednesday’s household, and for her to satisfy his personal dad and mom. She beseeches her dad and mom, Gomez (Michael Davanzo) and Morticia (Amy Ginder), to host the Beinekes for a “regular” dinner. The Addamses, being usually macabre and creepy, don’t normally cotton to that complete “regular” factor, however for her, they’ll attempt to make an exception.

On the appointed day and time, Lucas and his milquetoast Midwestern dad and mom, Mal (Jared Vigorous) and Alice (Katie Hughes), arrive—and are seemingly delighted, albeit mystified, by the household’s weird residence and habits.

Little does both set of oldsters know that Wednesday’s youthful brother, Pugsley (Aubree Shulz), is afraid he’ll lose Wednesday as a playmate when she runs off with Lucas. To forestall this from taking place, he steals a little bit of acrimonium potion from his grandma (Kimberly Richman) and provides it to a chalice, hoping to dose Wednesday so she’ll change her thoughts about Lucas. However the chalice results in the incorrect fingers—and earlier than lengthy, the Beinekes are within the midst of a meltdown that throws everybody’s relationships and future plans right into a tailspin.

It’s necessary to name out some notably great performances on this manufacturing, which not solely requires nice comedic timing and presence, but in addition robust vocal expertise. Amy Ginder is all the time a vibrant star on any stage; I’ve loved watching her in quite a few SSPA and Brüka performances, and she or he continues to impress along with her comedic chops and flexibility. As Morticia, she is wickedly enjoyable.

Azevedo is excellent as Wednesday. Although she’s comparatively unknown to me, I anticipate to see much more of her; not solely is she an unbelievable singer, however her distinctive, deadpan supply of Wednesday’s dialogue actually helped her make the half her personal. Additionally value noting is Davanzo’s portrayal of Gomez. I loved his efficiency in Kinky Boots at Brüka Theatre earlier this summer season, however he performed the straight man (so to talk) and thus didn’t get a lot of a possibility to be foolish. Right here, that high quality in him actually shines; Gomez is constantly humorous and lovable, and his songs are among the many better of the present.

Fingers down, the most effective efficiency is that of Katie Hughes as Alice, Lucas’ folksy, buttoned-up mom who will get to have her personal kind of awakening on the ceremonial dinner. I first noticed Hughes in Reno Little Theater’s Baskerville, and she or he simply retains getting higher. I felt like I used to be watching her channel classic Madeline Kahn. Her shrill supply, reward for bodily comedy and singing talents stole the present.

Kudos additionally to the reside band, led by conductor Branden McKinnon, which performs for your entire two-plus-hour present and retains it shifting alongside flawlessly.

Although the present is full of expertise, there’s little they will do with a script that could possibly be no less than one-third shorter, and far tighter. A number of scenes contribute nothing to the story and will have been lifted out. And the ending appears to take a very long time in coming, with a number of finales seemingly stacked on high of one another after they may have been wrapped up in minutes. Just a few technical points on the media preview efficiency I attended made some dialogue exhausting to listen to, however they have been minor and certain attributable to it being this manufacturing’s first present earlier than a reside viewers.

Although it will possibly really feel like an extended night (particularly on the amphitheater’s exhausting metallic chairs), there are many laughs available. Simply carry chair cushions and heat garments, and revel within the sheer quantity of expertise earlier than you. There’s loads of that.

The Addams Household, a manufacturing of the Sierra College of Performing Arts, is being carried out at 7:30 p.m., Thursday via Sunday, Aug. 17-20; and Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26, on the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Street, in Reno. Tickets are $18 to $55. For tickets or extra data, go to www.sierraschoolofperformingarts.org/reveals.html.