“The Addams Family” invades Brooklyn

September 7, 2016 Jaime DeJesus
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They’re kooky and they’re spooky. And they’re headed to Bay Ridge.

Narrows Community Theater (NCT) is once again branching out with its diverse selection of productions. This fall, the not-for-profit organization is primed to present “The Addams Family,” a take on the Broadway musical focused on the characters made famous in the ’60s TV show.

For the past few summers, NCT has invited the youth of community to be a part of NCT and learn about theater, and this year is no exception, with kids taking on the main roles in the upcoming production.

President of NCT Denise Higgins-Reagan discussed her excitement about the show and its fascinating plot that differs from the television show. “It’s absolutely based on the Broadway hit musical,” she said. “The story revolves around Wednesday, the young girl. It’s a coming-of-age story. She’s 18 and falls in love with a ‘normal’ boy.”

NCT has taken on all types of genres so when it came time to vote on the next production, there were a few reasons this story about the zany family came out on top. “There were several choices and this seemed to be the best vehicle for us,” Higgins-Reagan said. “Several of the reasons we chose it were logistical ones. There’s just one set, the Addams family home, and the graveyard as the exterior.”

Another reason was to show audiences a side of the characters they may not have seen before. “Many people think it’s based on the sitcom, but it’s not. It’s based on the Broadway show. The musical itself is based on the comic strip,” Higgins-Reagan said, adding that there will be new and expanded characters that will allow all the actors to shine.  “What is different is that Wednesday is actually part of the main story. She doesn’t know what to do. She’s a very dark character and now she’s seeing a light through this man, Matt. She’s torn.”

Although the show isn’t based on the television show or feature film, die-hard fans don’t need to worry about a different tone. “Audiences will recognize the genre, the family and their kookiness and zaniness,” she said. “Morticia and Gomez have the romantic interest in one another. Fester is still silly and does wacky things as usual. Basically, it’s the same kooky family and they have to meet a normal family.”

Photo by Mike Beitchman
Photo by Mike Beitchman

There are many treats for the audience. One of them is the talent involved in the production. “What I want them to understand is this is a group of 22 to 24 young adults. Some are under age 10 and most are teenagers,” Higgins-Reagan explained. “They are an amazing group of talented young kids. I hope they enjoy the show thoroughly. I want them to understand how important it is for young people to get into theater as soon as can.”

Music will also play a major role. “A lot of these songs are catchy and fun,” she said. “We want them humming them, stomping their feet, and enjoying what the young people can give them.”

Higgins-Reagan, who has been a member of NCT since it opened in 1971, is excited for younger kids to get involved. “I learned a lot through NCT about theater. It helped me launch a career for myself,” she said. “One of the reasons why we chose this play is so young people can act in it.”

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Photo by Annapurna Sinha.

NCT’s “The Addams Family” is directed by Jill Bolstridge and choreographed by Ashley Hacker, and Ray Bailey is the music director. The shows will take place on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 18 at 2 p.m. The following week, shows will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 at 8 p.m. The final show will take place on Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m. Adults get in for $25. Seniors and students pay $20. Tickets for children 12 and under are $15.

All shows will be performed at the Fort Hamilton Army Base Theater, 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway. A photo ID is required for entry. To order tickets online, visit www.ncttheaterny.com.

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