From left, Donna Federico, D. Scott McQuiston, Courtney Hatcher, Johnny Moreno,  Allison F. Rich, Will Springhorn Jr. and Zac Schuman are delightful in San Jose Stage Company’s “The Addams Famiy.” COURTESY DAVE LEPORI

From left, Donna Federico, D. Scott McQuiston, Courtney Hatcher, Johnny Moreno, Allison F. Rich, Will Springhorn Jr. and Zac Schuman are delightful in San Jose Stage Company’s “The Addams Famiy.” COURTESY DAVE LEPORI

‘Addams Family’ creepy, kooky and grand

San Jose Stage Company wraps its current season with a smorgasbord of outstanding local talent in a sparkling two-snaps-up musical production of “The Addams Family.”
The actors and creative team truly capture the off-kilter Charles Addams zeitgeist of the original New Yorker cartoons. Infused with Andrew Lippa’s lighthearted score and razzle dazzle moves courtesy of Carmichael (CJ) and Brett Blankenship’s spirited choreography, this South Bay evening delivers a ghoulishly good time.
Leads Allison F. Rich and Johnny Moreno feel born to their roles. She perfectly snaps her statuesque musical comedy curves into Morticia’s steel-rod posture, arched eyebrow and dry ice delivery. His Gomez is dashingly, giddily over-the-top, juggling familial dysfunction with a cock-eyed boyish bravura.
The other stouthearted Addams men include D. Scott McQuiston, whose Uncle Fester exudes a wonderfully fae impish quality, particularly in his spotlight-moonlight number; Zac Schuman’s Pugsley, an endearing kid brother wrapped in a cigar smoking, bomb tossing wild child; and the already imposing will Springhorn Jr. who takes moan-o-syllabic Lurch to even greater heights.
On the femme side, Courtney Hatcher is a wonderfully warped Wednesday, an angsty and defiant daughter with powerful pipes, who craves a new normal but loves her family. Donna Federico’s Grandma Addams is a finely calibrated mix of wisdom, vulgarity and stoner sass in a crazy lady wrapper.
Summoned from their not so eternal rest, the Addams ancestors are a truly heavenly ensemble of leading role talent: Carmichael (CJ) Blankenship, Nicole Frydman, Brian Herndon (also “on hand” as Thing), Adrienne Herro, Britney Monroe and Jordan Sidfield.
Visually, the cast is a verisimilitudinous synthesis of every pop culture image accrued to the brand. It’s a quality burnished by Abra Berman’s spectacularly spot-on costumes for every character and Michael Cook’s marvelous Edward Gorey-inspired monochromatic set.
As the “normals” trapped in Addams-ville, Jeffrey Bryan Adams as Lucas Bieneke is a strong-singing but conflicted suitor for Wednesday, and his parents Mal (Edward Hightower) and the poetry spouting Alice (Elise Youssef, delivering great vocals and lots of laughs) steer nicely clear of caricature while espousing and later deconstructing their family values.
The only fly in this otherwise rich ointment is three of the principal male performers suffer from limited vocal resources. Moreno has succeeded in roles of the sprechstimme oeuvre but here a more full-throated approach is needed, McQuiston was hit-and-miss reaching for the soft high notes of his playful songs, and Hightower needs a tighter belt.
Still, even a few notes short here, show after show, The Stage continually ups the ante for Bay Area musical theater production and this “Addams Family” sets a neat, sweet and not so petite new standard.

The Addams Family
Presented by San Jose Stage Company
Where: San Jose Stage, 490 S. First St., San Jose
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays; closes July 19
Tickets: $20 to $65
Contact: (408) 283-7142, www.thestage.orgAddams FamilyAllison F. RichCarmichael (CJ) BlankenshipJohnny MorenoSan Jose Stage Company

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read