On Friday, November 21st, the Valparaiso High School Drama Club presented the opening night of "The Addams Family, The Musical." Children and adults alike packed the entirety of the lobby trying to file into the theatre, hunting down seats.
The performance marked the premiere of the show in Northwest Indiana as a whole, and it was evident by reactions of those in attendance that it could not have been received better. Seniors Patrick Azar and Carli Meihofer starred as classic characters Gomez and Morticia, alongside other favorite characters such as Maddie Blaney as Wednesday, Matthew Klemm as Pugsley, Olivia Chappel as Grandma, Nathan Bongard as Uncle Fester, Dennis Murray as Lurch, Jackson Block as Mal Beineke, Laura Riggle as Alice Beineke, and last but certainly not least, Daniel Barajas as Lucas Beineke (boyfriend of Wednesday).
Blaney, a senior, shared her enthusiasm about working on the show and being a part of the Northwest Indiana premiere. "We didn't have anyone else to go off of when we started rehearsing the show, so everything we perform is original," she explained. "The show is so funny too, there's humor for any age."
There certainly was no lack of laughter provided, as the phenomenal cast caused eruptions of laughter from every corner of the audience about every other minute. Even more evident than the cast's incredible abilities, though, was their obvious enjoyment being on stage with one another. The majority of the actors have worked on shows together since freshman year, and could not have been more complimentary of one another.
Meihofer stated, "My favorite part of the show was definitely sharing the stage with so many talented, wonderful people." Patrick Azar agreed, "Working with all these amazing people that I've done shows with since freshman year is awesome, especially since it's our last big show together."
With the ever-present discussion of the removal of arts programs in schools across the country, it is performances like "The Addams Family" that define and depict the true value of the arts in education. The fact that an entire community can come out to enjoy a show put on and run almost entirely by high school students clearly shows what the art programs in Valpo are capable of. We are a community blessed with students who not only excel in our classrooms, but also on stage, providing us with local entertainment and enjoyment. The Valpo High School Drama Club could not have done a better job presenting "Addams Family" to Northwest Indiana.
Director Michele Craig said of her awesome cast, "We are setting the bar. People are coming to watch us and see us set the standard, and I know we will do great."
Great was an understatement, though. This performance was fantastic.