The Addams Family

The Addams Family The Met 2024The Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company of South Australia. Arts Theatre. 10 May 2024


One can usually depend upon The Met to turn out a competent musical production, often with the proverbial cast of thousands.

The Addams Family fills this bill, especially with the well-honed swarming song and dance chorus of the white-clad, living-dead “ancestors". There’re a lot of talented and classy workers up there spreading the gorgeous ghostly good spirit.


Writers Brickman and Elice have done a jolly job on representing the idiosyncrasies of the famous Chas Addams characters and Andrew Lippa’s score is pretty much gold. It’s a beaut modern musical, here directed by Carolyn (of the single “d”) Adams with Jane Feast in charge of the live music.


Oddly, the orchestra opens with such a scrubby overture that one’s heart sinks.

Blessedly, it is all upwards from there, albeit erratically. When this production is hitting its straps, it is a joy. In the off patches, it is a pity. For instance, Selma Britz as Morticia is absolutely five star on her big number Just Around the Corner. She looks great and moves well, despite the fact that her beautiful black costume is missing Morticia’s usual fishtail. But she never quite gets the accent. Unlike Jon McKay who absolutely nails that dear weirdo character, Uncle Fester, accent, intonation, and all. Top marks.


In this Addams Family creation, daughter Wednesday enlists her father Gomez’s support in bringing together their madly macabre family with that of the “normal” parents of the boy with whom she is in love.

Crazy old Grandma Addams, hilariously incarnated by Elizabeth Slee, is in charge of powerful potions, one of which is accidentally consumed by the boy’s “normal” American mother to outrageous good effect. 

That mother is played by Kristel Dally in a torrent of classic over-the-top cliche Americana. She steals the stage.

Her dreary husband, Mal, is well drawn by Andrew Mair, also with their son, Lucas, just fresh-faced and sweet as depicted by Tom Sheldon.


Vanessa Crouch could not look better as young Wednesday. She brings the classic image to life, moves well, works hard, but struggles in some of the songs. Young brother Pugsley, played by Phoebe Clark on this of alternating nights, sings like a dream but looks all wrong in inadequate padding.


Overall, Carmel Vistoli’s costuming and wigs are good with Jacinta Vistoli’s choreography terrific. Vistoli is a respected name in our non-funded musical theatre world.


Jason Clark deserves a mention as Lurch. Very tall and elegantly deported, he adds a few vocal surprises to the show. But, of course, the weight of the Addams Family rests with the character of the father, Gomez, and here Ben Todd shines once again in both song and dance. He’s a very watchable performer.


So, while Carolyn Adams has not pulled off a directorial coup, she and her spirited cast deliver a comical and rewarding night out. And, the audience whoops its thanks.


Samela Harris


When: 10 to 18 May

Where: The Arts Theatre