THE Addams Family, which began as a popular television show in the 1960s, continues to attract people of all ages around the world, because its characters remind them of people they have known.
The Newcastle Young People's Theatre was one of the first companies to get the rights to stage an 80-minute adaptation for junior performers, The Addams Family: Young@Part.
The Addams Family: Young@Part will be presented at the Newcastle Young People's Theatre, in Lindsay Street, Hamilton, in the April school holidays, with two alternating teenaged casts, each of which has 22 performers, and which, in keeping with the nature of the show, are called Creepy and Spooky.
The story has the Addams family, who live in a large coastal city, inviting members of an inland rural family to come to their home for a dinner get-together after they learn that their 18-year-old daughter, Wednesday, has fallen in love with a young man, Lucas Beineke, who is that family's son.
As is often the case in such get-togethers, nothing goes the way they had hoped.
The Addams family members are very colourful and realistic figures, with the parents, Gomez and Morticia, wanting the best for their children, who, as well as Wednesday, include her brother, Pugsley.
There is an ever-watching Grandma, Uncle Fester, who often goes outside the house to avoid conflicting with the other people, and the attentive butler, Lurch.
Lucas's parents, Mal and Alice Beineke, are intent on ensuring that he gets the best possible bride.
The musical's background ensemble are also amusingly unusual figures: the ghosts of the Addams family's ancestors who try to help live people do the right things.
The YPT staging will have seven days of school holiday shows between April 7 and April 17, with two performances each day.
The weekday shows will be in the morning and afternoon, and the Saturday shows in the afternoon and early evening. There will also be two shows on Saturday, April 24, after the school holidays. More information on ypt.org.au.
Bookings: email@example.com. Phone: 4961 4895 on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm.
The show has senior acting students aged between 15 and 19, with members of the YPT training team putting together the show: Leilani Boughton as director assisted by Harold Phipps and Maddie Newland, with Maddie Watts as musical director, Chelsea Willis as choreographer and Kirrilee Davies as dance captain.
The show marks YPT's return to productions that can be attended by anyone, now that restrictions on audience numbers have been eased.
Leilani Boughton notes that the show is a good one for people of all ages, with the costume styles being funny and the set very exciting in the way it is used.
The theatre's foyer will also look like a haunted house at the 6pm shows.
The musical's songs, which were put together by Andrew Lippa, have an engaging range of styles, with the song What If?, looking at how the changes that one parent team doesn't want to take place in their child's life.
Opera Hunter, at Warners Bay Theatre. Ends March 28.
A MUSICAL that looks at the life and relationships of a member of the Frankenstein family would seem to be an unlikely candidate for a hit show. But the Opera Hunter staging of Young Frankenstein has audiences laughing and smiling throughout the show.
The musical has a bright range of songs that were put together by Mel Brooks, with the show's story and dialogue adapted by Brooks and Thomas Meehan from the screenplay that Brooks and Gene Wilder wrote for the 1974 comedy film of the same name.
The Opera Hunter creative team, headed by director Zac Smith, has made the show very engaging, with the costumes and sets very much bringing out the nature of the story and its people as the title character tries to offload the large castle in Transylvania he has inherited from his deceased grandfather, Victor Frankenstein.
Frederick Frankenstein, engagingly played by Drew Holmes, is a professor at a New York medical school who has never met his grandfather.
While he resists having to go to Transylvania, people he encounters make it clear that he has to.
As he is ashamed of his grandfather's reputation for creating monsters, he repeatedly tells people that his name is pronounced as "Fronkensteen" and that he is a scientist, not a madman, with their reactions having audience members laughing.
The show amusingly makes good use of white materials in the characters' clothing, with the Monster his grandfather created (played by Danny Folpp) looking very much like a ghostly figure. The people he encounters in Transylvania, including Americans who have followed him there, also wear white.
The audience certainly enjoyed when the Monster and others performed Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz.
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