On Thursday, April 13, Fossil Ridge High School’s theatre department opened the spring musical with a spooktacular show. Listening to many of the cast and crew it seemed that none of them felt ready going into the opening show, but once they took the stage with the opening number When you’re an Addams they knew the show would be leaps and bounds better than they thought. While the cast felt there was a night and day difference between the staff preview and the opening show their director Mrs. Deana Kochis felt that both shows were equally amazing. The show was well put together and the cast and crew certainly did not disappoint.
At the beginning of the musical process Kochis what still unsure of what tech would look like, but they had some great ideas and the audience was wowed when they brought it to life. One of the details of the tech aspect were the family portraits that were projected onto the wall of the set. If audience members pay attention, they can see that the portraits are actually moving. William Schmitz who was on the tech crew for projections, among other things, got to help in the filming of these portraits. Once ancestors were in costume and makeup they filmed them for a few minutes. They were told to sit and only move slightly, things like blinking and slight head movements. This brought the portraits to life and make the set that much more engaging for audience members. There was also a heavy use of projections as back drops including a cemetery, central park, and of course a lovely night with the full moon. To create these beautiful scenes they started with a basic three layer system: foreground, background, and sky. Working on these was some of the most fun for Schmitz. “This is really where I get to be nerdy because I love all of it,” he said. The graveyard itself took about five hours to complete and the process sped up from there. “Some scenes were easier than others, but the longest time was about five or six hours to complete one scene.” The crew working on these projections with Schmitz included Ayden Adair, Deionus Bauer, Mabry Keil, Nathan Mahony, and one of the ancestors, Megan Bean.
Another tech aspect that left audiences wowed was costuming and makeup. The ancestors all come from different time periods, which means that costumes ran anywhere from a caveman to a World War II soldier. These costumes fit so well it was tricky for audience members to tell who was who. The makeup on the ancestors was made easier through the use of an airbrush machine, but the process of costumes, makeup and wigs for all the ancestors took about three hours. Aside from ancestor costumes no audience members could believe the uncanny resemblance of Morticia’s costumes compared to that of the movie and TV show. That is because they were made by costumer Rebbecca Spafford specifically for Caroline Frevert who played Morticia. Spafford had the privilege of working closely this year with head of costumes and Fossil senior Molly Beck. Their whole team did an amazing job and brought all the characters to life.
Some highlights of the first act of the show that future audience members will want to look forward to include Pulled, One Normal Night, Secrets, What if?, Full Disclosure (parts one and two), and Waiting.The first song that Wednesday Addams sings is Pulled and Morgan Schramm delivered it with a bang. This song requires a ton of belting which any singer knows is not an easy thing to do while still sounding good. Schramm made it look effortless and it sounded amazing. It also is the audience’s first glimpse into Wednesday’s feelings for Lucas. One Normal Night is the number that sets the whole show into motion; it was also the number that had the highest intensity from the actors. Secrets is a favorite number not only for audience members, but also for many members of the cast. “Secrets is my favorite number and my favorite scene,” said Abby Meyer, who played the Native American ancestor, and Caleb Martin agreed. What if? Was a song that pulled the audience’s heart strings. It is the perfect glimpse into the adorably morbid relationship between sister and brother. It was delivered perfectly by Cole Shortridge who performed Pugsley in a way that very quickly drew the audience in. “My favorite part of the show is Pugsley’s song where he sings with the toy box is,” said Grant Deluca, who played Fester. Full Disclosure not only reflects on the biggest themes in the show, but was also the number with the most energy and the cast conveyed the underlying tension perfectly. Waiting was not only the most dramatic song, but also the funniest. It was my favorite part of act one; Katie Foster delivered the part of Alice in the best, quirkiest possible way and her level of commitment to the part shows in this song. Full disclosure and Waiting brought act one to an exciting end that left the audience wanting more.
Intermission for this show was none like Fossil has seen in recent years. Deluca got up close and personal with the audience as he made them laugh with a little bit of bad 90’s R&B karaoke. The idea originated when Kochis and her husband were up late and throwing out ideas and this was one idea that students wanted to make a reality. Deluca milked it for all it was worth and the audience was totally into it. It also set Deluca up to get everyone excited over his song that he sings in act two, The Moon and Me.
Highlights of act two that audiences should watch for include the opening of act two Just around the corner, Happy/Sad, Crazier than you, Not Today, and the ending number of the show, Move toward the darkness. Just around the corner is Frevert’s favorite song to be in. She said, “It’s my one part where I get to not be…dead, and I get to go wild.” This song had Morticia and all the ancestors embracing every cheesy broadway thing in the books from kick lines to jazz hands. It was a fun number to watch and open the second act and Frevert sang it perfectly. Happy/Sad is not a song that tugs so much as yanks on the heartstrings. It is a touching father-daughter song and my favorite part of act two. Hand sings a few songs in the first act, but this was by far his best act. He sounded great and had the audience trying to hold in their tears. Nothing describes a lover’s quarrel quite like Crazier than you which captures the whole essence of romance, especially what romance looks like in the Addams Family. The harmonies sounded great and the song was overall just so adorable. “I love watching Parker Bennett and Katie Foster do crazier than you. They have this super fun thing were they fix their marriage together and it’s the funnest thing ever. I love it” said Megan Bean when she was asked what’s her favorite part of the show to watch. Not Today was the other one of Hand’s performances that left the audience amazed. This number was much more upbeat and had more humorous elements in it. It was a fun number to watch and had the audience giggling. The final number of the show Move toward the Darkness gave the audience perfect closure. It was a very unified song and was nice to see the whole cast on stage. It made the list of highlights mostly do to that fact that Tom Houser who plays Lurch delivered an absolutely chill-inspiring solo. He may not have had many lines but the part was perfect for him.
The cast, crew and students playing in the pit put together a great show. It is funny and touching and a great one for every age group. They have more shows April 21 and two on the 22, it is ten dollars for student admission. Tickets are available at FRHS.Booktix.com.