News, Waterford

Waterford presents “The Addams Family”

Lily Balge, who plays Wednesday Addams, rehearses a scene on Sunday at Waterford Union High School (Michael Stefanich Jr./Southern Lakes Newspapers).

Musical comedy takes the stage this week

By Jason Arndt

Waterford Union High School students spent months auditioning and rehearsing for the “The Addams Family” set to take the stage this week at the school auditorium.

The production began on Thursday and will continue at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday followed by a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

Leigh Birmingham, one of the faculty directors, called the production monstrous because multiple set changes, technical elements, costumes and specialized props.

“The musical numbers are challenging – not only in choreography, but also in vocals,” Birmingham said. “Not to mention the overwhelming expectation everyone has. We all know and love the Addams Family, and we all have an image in our mind. We wanted to make sure what the audience knows to be true was celebrated while also incorporating some sudden surprises.”

The musical comedy follows Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from respectable family, according to the synopsis provided by Birmingham.

“And if that wasn’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confided in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia,” the synopsis continued.

Lily Balge plays the role of Wednesday while Gabe Sell depicts Gomez Addams. Morgan Strimple is slated to play Morticia Adams.

Other characters include Pugsley Addams (Madi Hill), Fester Addams (Leo Hirschboeck), Grandma Addams (Alex Zalac), Lurch (Alex Popp), Alice Beineke (Kaylee Collins-Perez), Mal Beineke (Josiah Bonack), and Lucas Beineke (Ev Machan).

Additionally, according to Birmingham, the musical comedy includes 35 ensemble members who serve as ancestors of the Addams Family as well as 10 crew members and a pit orchestra of 10.

Change of pace
The musical comedy serves as a change of pace from the last spring musical, which was “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Birmingham noted.

“We wanted something that was instantly recognizable by title alone and could allow flexibility in terms of ensemble numbers,” she said. “That, plus the numerous talented performers we knew would be on board, ‘The Addams Family’ rocketed to the top of our list.”

Auditions for “The Addams Family” began in mid-December, with rehearsals starting Jan. 2, Birmingham said.

In total, the production consists of more than 50 students, whose roles range from cast, crew and pit orchestra.

“Students rehearse 2-3 hours every day either with signing, choreography, characterization or voice work,” Birmingham said. “To say the students put in the maximum amount of effort would be an understatement. They have dedicated much of their time and energy to this production, and we hope it shows in the final product.”

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and available through the website at

The production will be in the auditorium at Waterford Union High School, 110 S. Center Drive, Waterford.

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