By Eliza Brown, contributing writer
If you didn’t get the chance to see the high school’s production of “The Addams Family,” you missed a wonderful show about the Addams family, the Beineke Family, and the dinner they had that turned out to be one not-so-normal night. Director Erin MacIver explains, “The message, I think, is one of acceptance, of yourself, of others, no matter where you fit in, that you fit in somewhere. And one of love, and that love conquers everything. That’s what I got out of it.”
Sophomore Chloe Girvin and junior Tony Fox played two of the characters, Wednesday Addams and Lucas Beineke, who attempt to get their parents to get along before they tell them the news- that they’re getting married. However, there are many things that get in the way of this, and the young couple struggles to show that their love is true. The heartwarming conclusion proves that love really does conquer all. Besides being a show with a great message, the show was also a hilarious comedy, proven by the audience’s reactions.
MacIver said that she chose “The Addams Family” for the spring musical because she “knew I needed to do a show that was fun, because we needed to have an audience and entertain them. I didn’t need something serious, even though it does have an actually really sweet and very serious message, I knew I needed to get people to come back to live theater.”
Covid canceled the 2020 production of “Mary Poppins”, with the actors putting on only one performance at the close of the in-person portion of the year. Live performances of the Spring Musical last year were not possible, although there was a virtual showing of the year’s musical, “Honk!”. These unfortunate circumstances were what made this year’s production of “The Addams Family” so special to everyone involved.
MacIver said that, “just feeling the freedom to be able to do what we wanted to do was so empowering to me, and to many students. It was just really nice to see people that have never been in a show before come out and do things, and I think it was just great to feel that there’s a way forward instead of getting stuck in where we’ve been for the past two years.”
The cast consisted of 26 talented students from all four grades. Ten of these students had lead roles, and sixteen were members of the ensemble. The ensemble sang and danced as Addams family ancestors, and the leads were members of the (living) Addams family and the Beineke family. It is also important to recognize the many other people that helped bring the show to life, including director Erin MacIver, assistant director Laine Cutts, accompanist Jeff Cutts, and stage manager Sean Allen. There were also the backstage crew, set designers/construction crew, costume, hair, and makeup crew, and those who worked the box office/concession. Countless people contributed to the production of the spring musical, and without them the show would not have been possible.
The musical is a great demonstration of hard work and collaboration, of a dedicated group of people coming together for one common goal. The sense of community within the cast is something that many people really enjoy about being involved with the musical. Senior Angelica Oviedo-Fermin, who played Uncle Fester, recalled from her experience that, “the entire cast was full of wonderful and funny people, so it was easy for us to get along, and being in an environment so different from what I was used to was really eye-opening.”
She also noted that the musical is “something that people can find exciting even if they aren’t very much into the theater. In the musical you don’t only learn how to sing, dance, or act, but you learn to take chances and make new friends. I think being a part of the musical can open a door of possibilities people hadn’t considered before.”
The performances of the musical, on March 17th-20th, went very well, attracting many audience members, even some who might have never gone to one of the spring musicals before. Many people were talking about it on social media, and the show gained a lot of attention. The audience really helped bring the show to life, according to MacIver.
“The musical was amazing, I expected it to be good and I knew at dress rehearsal that it was going to be really good, but I had no idea how good it was going to be until we got in front of an audience and got a reaction from the audience,” MacIver said. “As soon as the audience reacted to things, the cast did even more with what they had. It was amazing.”
From the beginning of the show, with the eager response to Jeff Cutts playing the classic “Addams Family” theme on piano, to the very end of the show, it was clear that the audience was engaged and enjoyed the performance. If the chorus of claps and standing ovations are anything to go by, the show served its purpose of entertaining and amusing the audience.
Another musical will be performed next Spring, and this year’s actors were quick to say that it is a great opportunity for students to get involved and participate in something fun.
MacIver encourages students to “absolutely do the musical, especially if it’s out of your comfort zone because every single person [has] talent… if you don’t think you have a talent I will find it, you will fit in somewhere in that show. Whether it’s backstage, whether it’s onstage, whether it’s with costumes, working on the set, something.”
She said that the cast and crew become “a family that is really such a cool unique way to do things in school. A group of people that are not necessarily hanging out together after school, are because we’re all doing rehearsals and we all have the same goal, even if you are not sure if you want to be on stage, absolutely try the musical, and try it before you’re a senior because I guarantee that you’re going to like it.”
Senior Angelica Oviedo-Fermin, who performed this year in her last Nantucket High School musical, wanted to add a message to the cast of “The Addams Family,” “I just wanted to give one last congratulation to everyone who participated in the musical, you all did incredibly and your hard work made you all shine, to the underclassmen who want to continue for the following years, I know you guys will be amazing so give it your all!”