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The highlight this week is Theatre Alliance’s production of The Addams Family, in which Wednesday throws the family into a tailspin after she falls in love with a normal boy and begins aligning her own behavior, too…even wearing yellow. The horror.

The musical opened last Friday with a bang (of TNT by Pugsley). First of all, the costume and scenic designers went above and beyond the call of volunteers. As soon as you sit down, you realize you’re waiting at the gates of the Addams family’s creepy estate. There’s a grand staircase with skulls and cobwebs, a spooky family tree, peeping paintings and even a crypt. The crew spared no details; it was impressive and full of wonderful surprises, even moving critters. I can’t praise the set, costumes and surprises enough.

The cast included a wide variety of experience levels with Gray Smith (Gomez), Mary Lea Williams (Alice) and Amber Engel (Morticia) as strong leads. Smith commanded your attention and captured Gomez’s bold confidence. Williams had a gorgeous and powerful voice and added wonderful comic relief with her exaggerated perkiness and grins. Engel was just as grimly calm and sexy as the classic Morticia and blew me away with her voice, as well. Even John C. Wilson made the most of his two small appearances as Cousin It, scurrying and shuffling across the stage in classic fashion.

The ghost ensemble was captivating, too. They appropriately melted into the background, and yet each one had their own demeanor, unique background story and lavish costume. It was all in all simply a fun evening.

Performances are at SECCA, 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem, Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $18. Visit wstheatrealliance.org for more information.

In other news, this is the last week of Triad Stage’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams.

Friday through Oct. 4, Community Theatre of Greensboro is performing The Lion King, Jr., in which about 50 local students, ranging from 8 to 17 years old, pulled together to prepare, create and perform the production.

Friday through Sept. 27, Kernersville Little Theatre is kicking it old school with music from the 50s and 60s in The Marvelous Wonderettes. !

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