HomeBensalem TimesCreepy and kooky: NVMT announces spring musical ‘The Addams Family’

Creepy and kooky: NVMT announces spring musical ‘The Addams Family’

Performers of all experience levels can try out for the production, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships

Not your average household: Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre is presenting ‘The Addams Family’ in spring 2023. Submitted Photo

They’re mysterious and spooky, all together ooky…and coming to Neshaminy High School in spring 2023.

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre, a nationally-recognized nonprofit founded in 1956, announced that its next musical is The Addams Family, on stage at the Theodore Kloos Auditorium on March 25, 26 and 30, and April 1 and 2.

As always, proceeds from ticket sales will benefit student scholarships for Neshaminy High School graduates who are planning to study the fine or performing arts in college. To date, NVMT has awarded more than $165,000 to nearly 200 students, including last year’s recipients: Laura Aquilone, who had goals to pursue a career in animation at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Rachel Mark, who planned to attend Millersville University to major in special education with a minor in music.

“NVMT’s scholarship grant program has been one of the most positive and rewarding forces behind the success of our theater group for more than a half century,” said Tom Urquhart, president of the organization. “While we strive for excellence in our stage productions, it is always with the objective of providing funds for our scholarship grants in order to support deserving young people such as these in their quest to achieve their dreams. We’ve been most proud of our recipients and truly happy to have been able to help them.”

This week, those interested in landing a part in The Addams Family, which marks NVMT’s 65th production, can audition on Tuesday and Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m. at Neshaminy High School, 2001 Old Lincoln Highway in Langhorne. Callbacks by invitation are on Thursday. Actors, dancers and singers of various ages and all experience levels are urged to stop by.

Performing for a cause: Proceeds from all of Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre’s productions, including 2022’s ‘Annie,’ benefit student scholarships. Submitted Photo

The Addams Family, directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director/choreographer Stephen Casey, with music direction by Jack Sariego, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, is based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. It depicts the ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre.

After numerous film and television adaptations of Addams’ cartoons over the years, the musical is the first stage show based on the characters. It opened on Broadway in April 2010 and featured Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia and was nominated for two Tony Awards.

In The Addams Family, to be sad is to be happy, to feel pain is to feel joy, and death and suffering are the stuff of dreams. Still, Gomez and Morticia must deal with a nightmare felt by every parent — their kids are growing up. Wednesday, now 18, has fallen for Lucas Beineke, a sweet, smart boy from a normal, respectable Ohio family. In one fateful night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested and the Addams family must face the one horrible thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations — change.

Auditions are being held for the major leading roles of Gomez and Morticia, Uncle Fester, Wednesday, Alice, Mal and Lucas Beineke; supporting roles of Lurch, Pugsley and Grandma Addams; and a chorus/dance ensemble of Addams ancestors who are ever-present with a total of 10 musical numbers.

No appointments are needed for auditions. Come prepared to sing a song from The Addams Family (music and accompanist provided) or a song of your choice (bring your own sheet music) and to learn and then perform a short dance routine in a group.

Face masks and full vaccination status against the COVID-19 virus are both recommended and encouraged, but currently optional for participation with NVMT.

The organization stressed that a lengthy theater background — or any background at all — isn’t necessary to get involved. Previous casts included individuals who have performed professionally, along with those who enjoyed their first-ever performance with NVMT after years of dreaming about the stage. Participants hail from across the Delaware Valley, and all cast and crew are volunteers.

Also needed are set builders, painters and stage crew, including lighting and sound, as well as volunteers to work on marketing, ticketing and other administrative tasks.

Those cast in the show should be prepared to attend rehearsals up to three evenings a week, usually held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting in early January, with some weekend dates closer to the opening of the production.

NVMT, which earlier this year presented the musical Annie, has received national recognition for its annual productions, including 32 nominations and six wins from the International Music & Entertainment Awards. For more information on the organization and auditions, visit nvmt.org, email nvmt@verizon.net or call 215-860-1584.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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