They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious, and spooky; they’re The Addams Family and they're taking over the stage in a new musical comedy this December in Kitchener.
Created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice with creative consultation by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, the new musical comedy is transforming the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts in Kitchener with non-profit community theatre group, K-W Musical Productions.
“As it’s our first show post-pandemic and our last weekend, it would be really great to sell out our final shows and end the run really well,” said Kelly Legault, Marketing Director for K-W Musical Productions. “I think people are really, really liking (the musical) a lot and are thankful they can finally get back into the theatre."
A continuation of the classic Addams family story, in The Addams Family, the New Musical, Wednesday is older and has fallen in love with a normal boy. Following Wednesday’s attempts to tell her parents about their engagement as well as the dynamics between the two families, the play is a unique take on the macabre classic.
“When I was at the show last night, I was hearing people say ‘oh yeah, we just re-watched all the Addams Family to get into it, remember the characters and that kind of thing,’” said Legault. “The thing with the Addams Family is that there are so many different versions of them … everyone has their favourite Gomez or Wednesday so it's really fun to see everyone come together.”
While the show would've ideally debuted in October or early November, the pandemic has continued to make booking venues difficult for the non-profit. Their first production since 2020, the actor who plays Uncle Fester during the show even acknowledges "wouldn't this be better if it was closer to Halloween?" despite the Christmas holidays attracting audiences.
However, the release of Tim Burton’s Wednesday on Netflix served as free advertising and a boost for the local production.
“When Wednesday came out, I posted like ‘Thanks for the promo Netflix!’” said Legault. “So the musical is really hot because of that ... we already know all the characters from previous remakes, so it's exciting for people to see them on stage.”
Of the nine shows this month, Legault estimates at least five or six will fully sell out.
Attracting people of all ages, every night of the show's limited dates has ended with a standing ovation. One night, Legault even found herself next to a seven-year-old attending their first show.
“A good portion of all the original actors who committed for 2020 are in this production,” said Legault. “I think everyone is so perfectly cast … The people who play Wednesday and her fiance actually fell in love as teenagers and are married in real life.”
Kitchener Waterloo Musical Productions (KWMP) is a not-for-profit community theatre organization that produces two to three musicals annually in Waterloo Region. Founded in 1948 as the Twin City Operatic Society, the organization has produced over 100 full-scale musicals since its conception.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023, K-W Musical Productions have already begun preparing for the season, which will start in June. While they’re still obtaining the rights for some of their upcoming shows, Legault says there will be “lots of opportunities” for people to participate in and see some great shows in the future.
More information about The Addams Family, the New Musical is available here.
Note: There are still some tickets available for the final performance on December 10.