The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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Directors, cast get their spook on for fall musical

The+cast+of+The+Addams+Family+-+School+Edition+will+perform+the+musical+from+Nov.+16-18.+at+the+Algonquin+theater.
Submitted @gonkarts (Instagram)
The cast of “The Addams Family – School Edition” will perform the musical from Nov. 16-18. at the Algonquin theater.

The drama department is brewing up something creepy, kooky and altogether ooky in this year’s production as a musical adaptation of beloved classic “The Addams Family – School Edition” comes to the Algonquin stage from Nov. 16-18.

The production is led by science teacher and director Brian Kelly, in collaboration with musical director and Fine and Performing Arts teacher Eric Vincent, along with vocal director and Fine and Performing Arts teacher Olivia Goliger. Kelly has been involved in musical theater for almost 30 years, with 15 years of experience directing school and community productions. Junior Jax Jackson was cast as the father, Gomez Addams, and is accompanied by his onstage family: junior Lydia Reineke as the family matriarch Morticia Addams, sophomore Emily Ruiz as Uncle Fester and sophomores Ava Guckian and Tylia Moran as the children, Wednesday and Pugsley Addams. The crew is led by senior stage manager Adam Guggina and senior set designer Autumn Stewart.

Despite having been around for the better part of a century, the original dysfunctional Addams family remains relevant in the modern day; Algonquin’s own production comes in the wake of the wildly successful Netflix original “Wednesday” that premiered in the fall of 2022. According to Kelly, the show is characterized by its contemporaneity and witty exploration of themes such as individuality and nontraditional family values.

“[The Addams Family] is fun; it’s a little bit more modern and the cast seems really excited about it,” Kelly said. “It’s very ‘modern society,’ in terms of calling into question what we consider to be normal and not normal.”

The musical, which is based off of the original comic strip as it appeared in The New Yorker in 1938, differs in plot from the 1960s television program but highlights similar themes of inclusion and acceptance.

Everyone wants to be there, is trying really hard and is talented, so it’s going to be a good show.

— Junior Jax Jackson

“It’s very much about being who you are… everyone can live together in a judge-free zone, even though it’s cloaked in comedy,” Kelly said. “It’s very timely.”

As vocal director, Goliger hopes to capture the comedy and cleverness of the writing through the mannerisms and voices of individual characters. This is no easy task, Goliger explains, considering the intricacies of balancing movement, dialogue and voice control throughout the show.

“This is a very funny show, and getting to do some of that ‘schticky’ stuff vocally is a challenge for our actors,” Goliger said. “I’m looking forward to [working] with them… it’s a lot of heavy lifting for the named characters.”

Part of the show’s charm, Goliger adds, is the timelessness of the original franchise combined with the modern twists presented in the musical version.

“The beautiful thing about the show is that everyone is familiar at least with the stock of the characters; they have these notions about the dynamics of the family,” Goliger said. “Taking familiar characters and putting them in new situations is refreshing for the audience.”

Vincent, who directs the pit orchestra during musical numbers spanning a wide variety of genres, describes the relationship between the instrumentals and the other aspects of the show as symbiotic.

“With a pit orchestra, it’s really about the theatrical work being presented,” Vincent said. “We work hand in hand with the acting, the choreography, the costumes and the staging; everything works together to tell the story.”

Jackson, who stars alongside Reineke as the passionate Gomez and Morticia Addams, has starred in “The Addams Family” once before as Uncle Fester in a SkyRise Theater production in the summer of 2020. As someone who is already familiar with the show, he is excited to experience it from a different perspective- this time with a leading role. 

“I’m excited to lead because I’ve never led a show,” Jackson said. “I’ve always been a supporting or comical role, and it’s exciting because [Gomez] is a voice part that’s good for me.”

Despite the level of difficulty presented, Jackson is optimistic about the end product and the cast’s ability to work together in order to make the show a success.

“We have a very talented cast,” Jackson said. “Everyone wants to be there, is trying really hard and is talented, so it’s going to be a good show.”

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About the Contributor
Ava
Ava "Cam" Arcona, A&E Editor
Ava has been part of the Harbinger since sophomore year, where she started as Assistant News Editor and moved to A&E editor in junior year. Her favorite topics to write about are album releases, pop culture and the arts within ARHS. Outside of Harby, Ava is president of two honor societies and is a setter for the varsity volleyball team.
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