Student Story: Red Devil Dramatics Delivers Creepy, Kooky, Mysterious, and Spooky Performances in ‘The Addams Family’ at Rancocas Valley High School

By: Amanda Pescatore, Delsea Regional High School

Cast members of The Addams Family. Photo credit: Rancocas Valley Facebook page.

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. — Get ready to be pulled in a new direction by Rancocas Valley’s adaptation of The Addams Family! The high school closed their show Nov. 24, and it was overall a huge hit for all who attended. 

From television to film to stage, The Addams Family has been a family favorite since 1964. The musical adaptation opened on Broadway in 2010 and won a Tony award for outstanding set design. 

The show opens with a pre-performance showing off Paul Zazzo’s (Lurch) incredible piano skills and family favorite character, “Cousin It.” The comedic timing and overall performance of the musical was exquisite and left the audience laughing out of the auditorium. There was no shortage of talent from the entire cast, and the crew made scene changes look effortless. 

Photo credit: Rancocas Valley Facebook page.

The show would not be complete without the breathtaking performance by Brendan Collins (Gomez). His comedic timing, chemistry with his co-stars, and vocal ability stole the show. Notable songs include, “Trapped” and “Not Today,” two popular crowd favorites. Loveon Sanders-Schmidt’s portrayal of Morticia can not go unnoticed. Being a very demanding character and strong vocalist, Schmidt filled the description of the role perfectly. Her stance and facial expressions did not crack once even when she was on the stage for long periods of time. The talent and chemistry between these two leads made the show more enjoyable to watch. 

There were many supporting roles that added comedy, vocal, and dance talent to the stage. Memorable songs include Alanna Burden’s (Alice) “Waiting,” Jenna Springer’s (Wednesday) “Pulled,” Elijah Morman’s (Lucas) “One Normal Night,” and Liam Gonzalez’s (Uncle Fester) “The Moon and Me.” My personal favorite was the performance by Paul Zazzo (Lurch). His comedic timing and impressive vocals made the show and I was always excited to see him on stage. 

The offstage aspects of the show were equally as beautiful as the onstage performance. The effective use of the fly space and backstage was important toward the scene changes and overall flow of the musical. While the stage crew was visible to the audience during scene changes, it did not distract the audience from the plot. Michaela Belton’s contribution as stage manager and lighting designer really added to the creativity of the show and tied it all together. 

In conclusion, The Addams Family performed by Red Devil Dramatics served as fun for the whole family. The audience’s involvement when the opening number started and laughs throughout prove the amount of love the community had for this musical. Director Pliskin’s goal of “embracing the unorthodox” was illustrated by his talented students and inspired a community to be themselves. So enter the graveyard, study the family tree, and see what life is like when you’re an Addams.