The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) Arts Academy launches its student performance of The Addams Family musical the weekend of January 24–26. Featuring more than 20 student performers from ages 12–18, The Addams Family musical puts a fun spin on the creepy and kooky television show that became a cult-classic after it first aired in 1964. The TV show, of course, was based on The New Yorker cartoons by late Sagaponack cartoonist Charles Addams (1912–1988).
which is now home to the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, founded in 1999
The Addams Family has since been made into two feature films—The Addams Family in 1991 and the 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values, as well as Broadway and off-Broadway shows, and the recent hit animated feature, which hit theaters in October of last year. Heck, the famous family was even made into a line of action figures to be released soon!
The upcoming WHBPAC play, and The Addams Family in all its forms, is a comical feast that embraces the wackiness in every family, but it also features a heartwarming and familiar story that every family can relate to. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. But in true Wednesday fashion, her parents, the delightfully dark Gomez and Morticia Addams, have never met her new beau. When Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother, Gomez must do something he’s never done before—keep a secret from his beloved wife. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
The show is directed by the WHBPAC Arts Academy Manager Kristen Poulakis who has been in her role since 2014 and has a broad resume that includes teaching and directing. Choosing the musical was easy for the director, who found the script relatable and fun for all ages.
“Fast forward to Wednesday’s teen years and The Addams Family musical is everything you would want to see happen to the beloved Addams family and more,” Poulakis says. “With the quintessential question of ‘What if?’ hanging in the balance for Gomez Addams, does he choose loyalty to the love of his life, Morticia, and keep no secrets, or does he choose to keep his baby’s secret buried?” the director asks, adding, “With all of the characters you’ve come to know and love throughout the years, The Addams Family musical is sure to get you all caught up in feelings they ultimately have for each other: LOVE.”
Although The Addams Family has a rich and familiar fanbase with its 40 year history, “The WHBPAC Arts Academy cast has really risen to the occasion. They have taken an already funny musical and breathed new life into it, proving their developing acting chops are hitting the mark. These kids are a force to be reckoned with so come prepared to die laughing.”
Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, who had already teamed up for the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, their The Addams Family musical first previewed at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanna Theatre in 2010. Music and lyrics were by Hamptons regular Andrew Lippa, who also contributed music and lyrics for several other Broadway productions, including You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown in 1999 and Big Fish in 2013.
The Addams Family was nominated for several awards, including two Tonys for Best Original Score (Lippa) and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Kevin Chamberlin).
Take your kids to see The Addams Family musical for a family-friendly, all-ages romp performed by other kids!
Shows take place Friday, January 24 at 7 p.m., Saturday, January 25 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, January 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 and available by visiting whbpac.org or calling 631-288-1500.