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A new twist on an old classic comes to the NHS stage

 

Claire Steeno

Senior Rumi Natanzi and Jazz Mueller portray iconic parents Morticia and Gomez Addams in Niwot High's production of The Addams Family Musical, running from March 5-8 in the NHS auditorium.

You know they're creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky, but perhaps you didn't know that the Victorian-inspired Addams Family has been a part of American pop culture for more than eight decades. In 1938, cartoonist Charles Addams created a satirical version of upper class 20th century family life for The New Yorker, giving us the enduring characters Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and Lurch.

The family has been with us ever since, most famously as a 1960s sitcom, featuring a theme song that is instantly recognizable more than 50 years later. Now the "altogether ooky" clan is headed for the Niwot High stage, with some new characters and tendency to break into song now and then.

"NHS theatre decided to stage the Addams Family Musical because it is a hilarious show with incredible music and iconic characters," NHS drama teacher and theatre artistic director Kathryn Colabroy-Foulke wrote in an email interview. "There really is no family quite like The Addams Family."

The musical version finds the Addams faced with a thorny problem—daughter Wednesday has fallen in love with a "normal" boy, and his family is coming to dinner. Hilarity ensues when Uncle Fester, the story's narrator, enlists some help from a few dearly departed family members.

"The Ancestors are an integral part of the show and each represents an era of the Addams Family history—the Conquistador, The Flapper, The Baroque era, a cowgirl," Colabroy-Foulke wrote. "They have some amazing dance scenes and work the entire show to see "Love Triumph" for all the characters."

However, Colabroy-Foulke warned that youngsters might find some of the Addams' macabre humor unsettling and it isn't necessarily a show for all audiences.

"They joke about death and torture. There is the use of weapons in the show and some adult humor. Most families have heard of the Addams Family and may still choose to bring their young children and that is fine. We thought it best to supply the PG rating to advise parents to consider the nature of the Addams humor when thinking of bringing young children to the show."

According to Colabroy-Foulke, NHS theatre students were "over the moon" to put their spin on these timeless characters. NHS stage veteran Rumi Natanzi stars as Morticia, the stylish family matriarch, and Jazz Mueller is her husband, the dashing Gomez. Senior Tatum Hughes and sophomore Madeline Stapp share the role of Wednesday, and another NHS theatre veteran, Benjamin Bicknell, is Uncle Fester. Junior Grable Howie stars as Wednesday's new love interest, Lucas, and is also one of the production's five student directors.

The set, designed by Colabroy-Foulke and NHS technical director Jason Watkins, honors the family in their many iterations over the years.

"The aim was to honor what we recognize and love about the Addams Family while offering our own artistic spin on things," she wrote.

Claire Steeno

Senior Rumi Natanzi takes the NHS stage for one last time as Morticia Addams in the Addams Family Musical, running from March 5-8.

Behind the scenes, seniors Sage Arnold and Sophia Bloch are the student technical directors, and Alex West and Kai Feltier are the stage managers. The department also welcomed choreographer Claire Steeno and costume designer Christina Piquette as newcomers to the crew this season.

"We are exceptionally proud of this production," Colabroy-Foulke wrote. "We have a rocking live band with professionals mentoring our talented NHS student musicians, incredible dances and acting, handmade costumes and an amazing set. You don't want to miss it."

The Addams Family runs from March 5 through March 8 at Niwot High. Shows start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $12, but $5 for NHS students with ID on opening night. For more information, visit http://www.nhs.svvsd.org.

 

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