ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Define normal. It’s a tough thing to do.
Since the creation of “The Addams Family,” by Charles Addams, the family never quite fit the definition of normal.
In “The Addams Family” musical — currently at Popejoy Hall — it’s apparent that no one is normal.
The show is based upon on Addams’ single-panel gag cartoons, which depict the ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre.
Numerous film and television adaptations of Addams’ cartoons exist, but the musical is based upon the cartoons rather than the television and film characters.
From the first scene to the last, the entire cast engages the audience.
Gomez, the family patriarch, is played Jesse Sharp and he pulls out all the stops during the play. Gomez has always been a complex character. There’s seriousness and playfulness all at the same time. Sharp has created a Gomez all his own.
The first scene of the play finds Gomez and his family — Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday and Pugsley — visiting the graveyard for the annual gathering of all family members — both living and dead — in a celebration of what it is to be an Addams.
Let’s just say this is a perfect opening number. The visuals this scene are great. You have the graveyard — which is impeccably designed. Then there’s the lighting — which sets the mood so well.
As the story moves on, we find that Wednesday is in love with a “normal” boy named Lucas Beineke. She lets her father now, but asks him to keep it a secret from Morticia, played by the captivating Keleen Snowgren.
Thus comedy and drama ensue.
As Morticia finds out a secret is being kept, she questions Gomez’s actions. (Who would have known they can argue like a “normal” couple.)
Lucas’s parents — Mal and Alice — are invited over for dinner and end up playing a game called “Full Disclosure.”
This is the point in the musical where each character’s flaws are shown and then realize that we are all the same.
Throughout this number, Uncle Fester, played by Shaun Rice, Grandma, played by Amanda Bruton, and Pugsley, played by Connor Barth really start to shine.
As the musical continues, the characters deal with love. Each one learns that with a love that is strong, anything is possible.
The traveling show put on by Phoenix Entertainment isn’t one to be missed. The songs will get your fingers snapping — literally. Just remember “The Addams Family” introduction song.
There’s plenty of comedy — a lot deals with present-day issues. There’s so much comedy that the family’s doorman Lurch, played by Ryan Jacob Wood, gets in some great physical comedy and some songs.
All in all, “The Addams Family” will never fit the mold of normal — but who does.
If you go
WHAT: “The Addams Family”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 22; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 23
WHERE: Popejoy Hall, UNM campus
HOW MUCH: $32.50-$62.50 at unmtickets.com, UNM Bookstore, Lobo Ticket Office, Albertson’s locations or 925-5858 or 877-664-8661