Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor
Oklahoma Baptist University Theatre took “The Addams Family” downtown Oct. 21 to perform “When You’re an Addams” from the upcoming “The Addams Family” show and interact with local children as they waited in line to receive candy during one of Shawnee’s biggest downtown festival of the year, Boo On Bell.
Boo On Bell is an annual downtown festival organized by Safe Events For Families’ (SEFF).
The event included Carnival rides, vendors, food trucks, live music and two costume contests with one for people and one for pets. The events highlight, however, is the trick-or-treating that took place up and down Main St., with such a large crowd participating that the lines stretched all the way up and down the street.
OBU Theatre performed at 3:00 p.m., just before the trick-or-treating began, to an enthusiastic crowd, on the Bell St. Stage. Then they mingled with the crowd, who were clearly enjoying the opportunity to talk the costumed actors and take pictures with them.
“I think it went really well. I’m very pleased with it,” Assistant Professor of Theatre and Director of “The Addams Family” Matthew Caron said.
For several of the cast members, “The Addams Family” is a new kind of experience. Both junior vocal music education major, Sydney Mathews, and sophomore theatre major, Caleb Frank, said “The Addams Family” is their first time performing in a musical. The Boo On Bell performance was their first opportunity to perform a portion of “The Addams Family” for a live audience.
“I think it’ll be fun and it’ll be interesting,” Mathews, who plays Wednesday Addams, said. “I think it’s a really go way to advertise. It’s a really cool opportunity to meet those people who are really willing to come.”
Mathews said she enjoys the opportunity to be in musical.
“Ever since I was a little kid I just really loved singing, and I performed in a lot of musical theatre like competitions,” she said. “but in my small town where I grew up I never really had the chance to do musicals like this, so this is really my first time as like a lead role in like a big musical. So, it’s kind of a first for me, um, but it’s really fun. I’ve always loved it. Musical theatre’s always been like a love of mine, I just never really had an opportunity to do it until now, so I’m just really thankful for this opportunity.”
Wednesday Addams is the passionate daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. However, audiences may find this version of Wednesday a little different than the Wednesday they know from TV.
“This musical is not so much about, it’s not about her as a little kid anymore, she’s all grown up and she’s fallen in love,” said Mathews.
For Mathews, conveying her character’s passion has proved to be both enjoyable and a challenge.
“I really like that Wednesday is very passionate, and I’m still trying to really channel that,” Mathews said.
Frank, who plays Lucas Beineke, Wednesday Addams’ sweetheart, the show provided a nice change of pace and the opportunity to play a more easily relatable character than some of the characters that he’s played in other shows.
“He has this dark side to him, but don’t we all?” Frank said. “You know, he’s just very down to earth, very normal. I love that about him just being able to relate to him in a situation.”
Despite it’s quirks, the Addams family is in many ways a very easily understandable family, and the story is one that most people can relate to in some way. It’s a story of meeting the family for the first time, concern over what others will think, and both young and not so very young sweethearts.
Senior theatre major and music minor Caleb Schantz plays Gomez Addams. Gomez is much a kind of father many people might recognize from their own families.
“Gomez Addams is the father of the Addams family,” Schantz said. “He’s the father figure who cares about everyone in his family so much, and he wants their hopes and dreams to come to fruition. He wants them to be happy with their life and to be joyful in all that they do.”
Gomez and Morticia’s relationship is another story of happy love, which is in some ways much like the love between Wednesday and Lucas.
“She is a mother, who cares about her family and cares about her husband and her children and their success, and I think she just wants her family to be happy in an Addams-like fashion, so aka be miserable and to let the dark side of life make them happy,” junior theatre major and music minor McKenzie Reece, who plays Morticia Addams, said of her character.
Tickets are available online at http://www.okbu.edu/fine-arts/theatre/index.html, and by purchase at the door, and are $15 for adults, and $5 for students. Performances are Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 29, 2:30 p.m.; Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 5, 2:30 p.m., with a special 10:30 p.m. performance on Halloween night, Oct 31.