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Performing Arts

‘Family’ matters

‘The Addams Family’ comes to town, this time with song and dance in tow. There goes the neighborhood.

Rod Lott January 11th, 2012

The Addams Family
7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, through Jan. 22
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N. Walker

Cortney Wolfson had no idea that one day, she’d become altogether ooky.

But here she is, playing gloomy girl Wednesday Addams in the national tour of “The Addams Family” stage musical, based upon Charles Addams’ creepy cartoon clan that spawned a popular television series in the mid- 1960s and, in the early 1990s, two feature films Wolfson enjoyed watching as a child. 

“I didn’t grow up on the TV series so much as the movies, but the movies were really popular when I was young,” said Wolfson, a native of Lafayette, Ind. “I was a huge fan of Christina Ricci because she was around my age when those movies came out, so of course, I idolized her, but I had no idea [I’d be playing her part someday].”

right, Cortney Wolfson and Patrick D. Kennedy star as sadistic siblings in “The Addams Family.”

She and the rest of the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky family appear at the Civic Center Music Hall beginning Tuesday for a six-day string of eight performances.

While “The Addams Family” never had been adapted for the stage before its hit Broadway run in 2010, Wolfson said the transition from page to stage — with the screen in between — is a natural one for the macabre unit.

First of all, the snaps of the iconic TV theme song remain.

“Oh, yeah, we snap a lot,” she said.

“It’s interesting, because everyone has their idea about what these characters are. When you see the show, it completely fulfills whatever that idea you had was, and then you get a little bit more, because you actually get to know the characters.”

At two and a half hours, the musical retains the dark humor but light touch of the source material.

“They’re just one of those families where everything is a little bit heightened and a little bit dramatic based upon who they are and the situations they put themselves in,” said Wolfson. “Any show where there’s that kind of conflict lends itself to a musical.”

For her role as Wednesday, that means not only belting out “American Idol”-style pop numbers, but falling in love for the first time and, naturally, subjecting little brother Pugsley to tender acts of torture.

“I had a director tell me once, ‘The people who play evil characters, it’s best if you’re not like that in real life,’” Wolfson said. “I grew up wearing frilly pink dresses — and I still do — so when I get to be that character, it’s really fun to step into something that’s so completely outside myself.”

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