Arts & Entertainment

'The Addams Family,' The NPHS Spring Musical Spirits It’s Way to the Stage

8598607cea83e0e04ef7_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_9.jpg
The NPHS production of "The Addams Family" are Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 17 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Visit the district website to purchase tickets. Credits: Bill Dreitlein
122b4b2995a4ce209be8_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_11.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
77771ea9527cfd2eb8b0_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_42.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
feea739f4623f785176b_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_37.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
90c7d5327dc6e08d4928_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_29.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
32f1bdcd6263cc900a43_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_13.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
573ac59d8fb18ed55eec_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_46.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
5ef332e3040a1709da56_NPHS_The_Addams_Family_Liz_DreitleinMar_05_2018_2.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
0c8931c9ad0611deb148_NPHS_The_Addams_Family_Liz_DreitleinMar_05_2018.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
bba4a4d540d089938adc_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_70.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
dcea17151eeacc0699d5_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_56.jpg
Credits: Bill Dreitlein
4f31a6b01f00270131d1_DSC_7720__1_.JPG
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
c6e4842950af114a2990_DSC_7542__1_.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
c5dd8cd49c5fa6e3cb7f_DSC_7474__1_.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
50ee6a2cbd70a46b59cb_DSC_7383__1_.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
66ec54ee69246eda280f_DSC_7353__1_.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
8616c17fa79af20a7aae_DSC_7152__1_.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
8598607cea83e0e04ef7_TAF_1st_Dress_RehearsalMar_05_2018_9.jpg

Come out and see Wednesday on Friday (or Saturday).

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - If you were to wander into the New Providence High School auditorium early last week you would have found a hive of activity centered mostly around the main stage which is presently dominated by The Addams Family mansion, complete with a sweeping double staircase and stonework on either side. At the center of this storm is a very composed Craig Duke, the 18-year veteran director, producer and drama teacher at NPHS. Duke, standing on the stage with his crew, was not giving away any trepidation regarding the monster production he has assembled or the impending winter storm barreling towards New Providence. Instead Duke was standing downstage, surrounded by his crew and helping them guide the full moon into its rightful spot above the mansion.

After producing classic plays the past few years at NPHS, Duke assessed his talent pool this year and decided on the contemporary musical, "The Addams Family."  “We’ve all been feeling that we’ve done some classics and we wanted something contemporary to fit our kids,” said Duke. This version of "The Addams Family" centers around Wednesday Addams. “She falls for a normal guy and the two families come together, crazy family meets normal family and chaos ensues,” laughed Duke.  This year’s production also has a big cast, “We have very strong performances; we have 10 principles and a 30-plus ensemble of ancestors, ghosts and zombies,” he added.

Sign Up for E-News

Duke was also looking for strong musical talent. “We always look in terms of voices and we had a really strong vocal talent this year. We felt confident that we had kids who could pull those roles off,” said Duke. He also loved the story line. “Parents and families could easily identify with the characters and the situation, so for a lot of reasons we thought it was a good fit,” he added.

The script, by the “Jersey Boys” team of Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, along with songs by Andrew Lippa are a mix of Cabaret and Tango with some old vaudevillian numbers for the faint of heart. It is loosely based on the legendary cartoons created by Charles Addams who was famous for his fictional dark and morbid, but surprisingly relatable household characters that were first published in The New Yorker in 1938.

This production is anchored by its two strong leads, Troy Droussiotis and Julia Dabrowska. Together, they make these iconic roles their own. Gomez and Morticia Addams are the aristocratically undead heads of this famous macabre household. The madly-in-love husband and wife are best remembered for breaking into the Tango at a moments notice.

Droussiotis and Dabrowska worked behind the scenes with Leslie Ditta (Choreographer) learning the Tango, the Argentine Tango, and the Paso Doble for those memorable dances most might remember from the 1960’s TV show. For Dabrowska, the years of ballet paid off. “My experience in choirs and ballet definitely helped me prepare for this role. I feel that my choir experience allowed me to be extremely comfortable on a stage, and my ballet training significantly helped me pick up choreography efficiently,” said Dabrowska.

She also studied up on the iconic Morticia, “I did plenty of research on various iconic interpretations of her character. I did so by watching clips of Bebe Neuwirth’s performance of Morticia on Broadway, as well as several televised versions of her character by actresses such as Carolyn Jones and Angelica Huston.” But in the end, she wanted to make this fearless matriarch her own. ”The most challenging part of learning this part was finding how I personally wanted to interpret Morticia,” said Dabrowska.

Gomez Addams, patriarch to the eccentric family, turned out to be Droussiotis’s favorite role, “Gomez is definitely my favorite part I’ve played out of all the shows that I’ve been in. I love his charisma and flair and he honestly reminds me a lot of my own dad.” This role has been a departure for Droussitis, a veteran of the NPHS drama department, “The best parts about playing him are being able to go over the top with comedy. It’s a big contrast to other roles I’ve played.”  Droussiotis, a senior, feels well-prepared for what comes next, “My two years as Drum Major in the marching band has taught me a lot of leadership, time management, and organizational skills that I can utilize in every aspect of my life.”

And this brings us to Wednesday Addams, the character around which the play revolves. Wednesday has fallen in love with a “normal” boy named Lukas Beineke (Jack Nissen). The only daughter of Gomez and Morticia wants to have “one normal night” at the Addams house with her boyfriend and his parents. This leaves the Addams clan in the precarious situation of attempting to appear normal, if just for one evening, in a kind of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” meets “Romeo and Juliet” (minus the Shakespearean tragic turns) as this star-crossed couple tries to unite their very different families.

The character of Wednesday Addams is inhabited by junior Jade Navarro who is appearing in her third musical at NPHS. Navarro has taken to the role of the off-beat rebel who shudders at established norms, “I absolutely love Wednesday Addams because she is the ultimate confident teenager we all admired when we were younger.  Her boldness and integrity are very admirable.” Navarro is also enjoying being part of a more contemporary play, “As much as I love the classics, a contemporary show like this feels very personal because it is so relevant to young people.  I love being in this show because it is hilarious from the characters to the jokes; it’s a show like you’ve never seen before.”

With the 25 plus musical numbers to be learned and staged, Duke turns to Leslie Ditta and Pamela Crockett, his choreographer and music director respectively. Ditta is impressed by the Addams cast, “This year, with so many dance numbers, it was a lot of work learning the new dances. Gomez and Morticia have a couple lifts and we had to make sure that was done safely. This show is really fun because there’s a variety of styles of dance, I’m really excited to see it all come together.” she said. The huge cast gets along on and off the stage, “From the get-go the cast really seemed to click, it’s been a fun atmosphere, the seniors have really set the tone,” she added.

Music director Pam Crockett, also loves the new musical, “I love it, I love the music in the show, I like how the ensemble gets to be kind of a storyteller, it’s been so much fun, the kids have really responded to the music.” She also is impressed by the musical talent in New Providence, “I’m very spoiled in this school district, we have really wonderful singers, they learn the music quickly and our leads are phenomenal singers.”

Rounding out the cast is Henrik Harman, a senior, as Uncle Fester. Harman has performed in many NPHS plays as well as concert, jazz and select choir and performs with the NPHS Marching Band as well. Also, Trent Zane, a junior, is playing the role of Lurch, the Addams gloomy butler. Hanna Giedraitis, a sophomore, as Pugsley Addams. Abby Arts, a sophomore in her first production at NPHS as Grandma, and Jack Nissen, a sophomore as Lucas Beineke, in his second NPHS production.  Sarah Kowalewski, a junior, is serving as Stage Manager. Nick Caburis, a senior in his final spring musical, is serving as Student Technical Director.

Show times for The Addams Family are March 16th at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 17th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at “Seat Yourself” online ticketing. There is a link on the NPHS  website.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Very special "Annie, Jr." coming June 29-July 1 at Rahway High School

June 18, 2018

The CAU Community Players will be staging a very special production of "Annie, Jr." at the Rahway High School Center for Performing Arts on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m.

The CAU Community Players is a troupe of actors both with and without developmental disabilities. Formed in 2012, the troupe empowers members with disabilities ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers with Spinal Cord Injury for New Study!

Kessler Foundation is a research center in West Orange, NJ that specializes in disability research. We are currently seeking individuals with spinal cord injury to participate in a new research study:

Dr. John O'Neill, principal investigator in Spinal Cord Injury research seeks volunteers for a spinal cord injury study. The purpose of this study is to identify ways of enhancing the ...

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Start June 23

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 19, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Tue, June 19, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, June 19, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, June 19, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Tue, June 19, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Tue, June 19, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Tue, June 19, 9:30 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...