Local actor Logan Hedrington loves musicals. He also has always been drawn to “The Addams Family.”
When he heard there was a new musical based on the campy 1960s TV show and 1991 movie, he was skeptical — until he heard the music.
“I thought that was kind of an odd idea because it didn’t seem like it would fit a musical type, but when I heard the music for it I was amazed,” Hedrington said. “When (Eau Claire Children’s Theatre) said for the new season they were doing ‘The Addams Family,’ I was not even hesitant. I was determined to do it.”
He’s getting his chance. Hedrington will play Pugsley Addams in ECCT’s production of “The Addams Family” musical at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at The State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St.
Grace Pichler, a longtime “Addams Family” fan who plays Wednesday Addams, said despite what people might think, the concept of the Addams family works well in a musical.
“At their center, they are just so outrageous and over the top that it lends itself perfectly to a musical,” Pichler said of the characters featured in the TV classic. “The style of music is very much reminiscent of the Addams family. It really is what you would think of, but it’s almost a little above. This is the Addams family, but a little bit updated. A little bit extra.”
And yet, Pichler said the costumes are very much traditional to the original television series. When she tried hers on, she felt as though she had stepped back into time.
That adds a bit more expectation to her and her fellow cast members. But Pichler said they are all working hard to make the roles come to life.
“When you’re filling the shoes of such iconic characters, you have to bring a certain energy, you have to bring a lot,” she said. “These guys are totally doing that. Everyone is putting their absolute heart and souls into these roles.”
Though the cast is made up of many longtime fans of the show or movie, Nathan Libby, who plays Gomez, said it’s not necessary for audiences to know anything about the iconic, quirky family to enjoy and feel part of the show.
In addition, Kat Taylor, who plays Morticia, said it is filled with good music and good comedy — something she wasn’t expecting.
“I was surprised how ridiculously funny it is,” Taylor said. “The movie is funny, but it’s a little more dark — this is just straight up hilarious.”
The musical centers on the idea of a “normal” family when daughter Wednesday brings her new beau to dinner with the family.
Of course, the Addams family is anything but normal. Through the course of the show, though, Pichler said Wednesday learns, when it comes to family, there is no definition of normal.
Hedrington said he even started to see some similarities between them and his own family.
“You think of the Addams Family as a quirky, different family,” Hedrington said, “but at the end of the show you just think, ‘That’s my family.’ ”
And no matter what, family always has each other’s backs. Though the show is about 90 percent entertainment, Pichler said the lessons that shine through are relatable to anyone.
“The core is all about family,” she said. “At the end, everyone has rediscovered their relationships and strengthened those relationships, both familial and romantic.”
“The Addams Family” has depth, comedy, dark humor and a few tender moments. Taylor called it a “roller coaster ride of emotions,” but Dan Ekblad, who plays Lurch, guaranteed audiences will “leave smiling.”
“Like a corpse,” Libby added.
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