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Da-da-da-dum (snap, snap)

Da-da-da-dum, Da-da-da-dum, Da-da-da-dum (snap, snap)

Campanile Productions brings "The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy" to the Alhambra Theatre next weekend just in time for Halloween.

In this production, Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man.

"Wednesday is now 18 and she has fallen in love with Lucas who comes from a 'normal' family," said Jeff Riggs, musical director and Campanile founder. "Lucas and his family are on their way to the Addams Family (residence) for dinner to get to know each other."

Riggs said Wednesday's romance affects the entire family -- starting with her father, Gomez Addams. She confides in him and begs Gomez not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez must do something he's never done before -- keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.

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Wednesday's younger brother, played by Matthew Couch, is not happy with her dating status either.

"Pugsley is upset because Wednesday is no longer giving him any attention and torturing him," Riggs said. "He steals a potion from his grandmother which makes you tell your secrets. He's wanting to give it to Wednesday to embarrass her in front of her boyfriend and family. ... The comedy ensues."

Although this is a family-friendly musical, Riggs said it would probably garner a PG rating.

"Someone said the other day if you're comfortable watching 'Back to the Future,' then you'll be comfortable watching this show," he said. "There is a little bit of language periodically. We want people to know that."

The cast of 35 people features mostly seasoned veterans of Campanile Productions, but also some new faces. Among the new actors is Jehieli de Jesus of Clarksville who makes her debut with Campanile as Wednesday. De Jesus has performed in theater productions in Nashville.

"I have zero complaints," de Jesus said about her time with Campanile. "It's been really fun and everyone's been really welcoming and really nice to me. This is my first principle role, so it's like my big moment. I'm excited I get to share that with these people and share it with Hopkinsville."

De Jesus said this version of Wednesday has been challenging for the stage.

"Through the ages, Wednesday has always been a morbid, dark, eerie character. In this show, she's in love. She's happy," de Jesus said. "It's a challenge to make that character someone who's in love and blissful because you can't lose elements of Wednesday. She's still Wednesday, but she's an 'in-love' version of herself. My take on it is to have a balance of both."

In this musical, Wednesday is a "grown up" 18 years old.

"I'm 23, but I still remember what it was like to be 18," de Jesus said.

Campanile veteran Becky Dearman tackles the role of Uncle Fester Addams, a character traditionally played by a man.

"I listened to the first song and just fell in love with the character," she said. "It's been so much fun."

In "The Addams Family" musical, Dearman said Fester serves as the narrator.

"He really works to push Wednesday and Lucas together. He really is the impetus to make sure true love conquers all. He is a hopeless romantic," she said. "He (too) is hopelessly in love, but he believes love is best from 250 million miles away. You kind of hope he gets the courage to meet his true love in the end too."

The doting father and husband Gomez Addams is played by Zavier Ortiz of Elkton in his first principle role with Campanile.

"(He's) head of the household and thinks he's more of a Casanova than he actually is," he said. "I come from a Hispanic background so I'm bringing a lot of what I see in my dad (to the stage). I guess I'm bringing family and what I know of family to (the part)."

Ortiz said he is new to the Addams Family fandom.

"I didn't even know who Gomez was," he said. "It's been really fascinating to learn about 'The Addams Family.' Now that I know, I wish that I had known before. I wish that I had watched all of the TV shows and the movies and seen this weird family especially growing up where I wasn't necessarily comfortable being myself."

In addition to being entertaining, Ortiz and Dearman noted that "The Addams Family" script focuses on the theme of "defining normal," an important lesson for everyone.

"(It's) this whole idea of being yourself no matter what that means. Be true to who you are," Ortiz said.

"In a world where everybody is comparing themselves to everybody else, you find your people, you find your happy and that's what's important," Dearman said. "I think that's a powerful message for today."

"The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy" performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday, at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Alhambra Theatre, 507 S. Main St. The final dress rehearsal will be a pay-what-you-can night starting at 7 p.m. Thursday. The public is welcome to watch the show for a donation, Riggs said.

Tickets are available in advance for $15 and $20 on the Campanile website, https://www.campanileproductions.com/, or at the door for $18 and $25. For more information, call 270-889-4462.

"I think this production of 'The Addams Family: Musical' is very high quality," de Jesus said. "We've been working so hard on this. ... Everyone who works on it delivers a level of excellence that is worth way more than what you're paying."

Dearman said the production will keep the audience laughing.

"It's a genuinely funny musical," she said. "(There's) lots of one-liners that are just hysterical."

Reach Michele Vowell at 270-887-3242 or mvowell@kentuckynewera.com.

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