On the 28th, 29th, and 30th of March 2019, hundreds of Brooklyn Tech students, faculty, and parents piled into the Leonard Riggio auditorium to see the Brooklyn Tech production of The Addams Family. From the opening music, so artfully played by the orchestra in the pit to the final curtain call, the audience was captivated in the story of a family almost pulled apart by the secrets they kept. Though there was a somewhat dark tone set at the beginning of the show, it was brightened through the ongoing humor throughout the night. As always, the show was not far off from a Broadway-quality performance.
Kyle Han ‘20 expressed after the show, “the only difference between [The Addams Family] and an actual Broadway musical is that the props had to be moved manually.” In an actually Broadway show, the stage itself is specifically built for the props, so there would be no need for the stage crew to go onto the stage to move them. The Tech stage, unfortunately, was not built for the sole purpose of putting on musical productions. Regardless, when watching The Addams Family, it was easy to forget that you were watching a high school musical rather than an actual Broadway show.
To put on such a high-quality show took much time and effort on the part of the cast, crew, and orchestra alike. The stage crew was responsible for all of the technicalities of the show from setting up the mics to the lighting to the special effects to moving the props. They were essentially what held the show together.
For the cast, a lot went into portraying their given roles. Maeve Hogan ‘19 (Morticia Addams) spent much time reading The Addams Family comics,watching the movie, and more specific to her character, she said, “I played around a lot with Morticia’s physicality at rehearsals… until I figured out what felt right.”
The actors also had to push their physical limits for the sake of the show as well. In the case of Luke Beaver ‘20 (Lurch), he had to pick-up the trade of stilt-walking, solely because his role required him be the tallest person on the cast. It took much time and practice for him to get comfortable walking and eventually dancing in the stilts “without the fear of falling over.”
Those in the ensemble also had their work cut out for them throughout the months of preparation for the big show. The members of the ensemble spent a lot of time rehearsing and preparing their vocal performances as well as the dance choreography. Though their characters were not the focus of the show, there was also some degree of “getting into character” that was at play for those in the ensemble. Royta Iftakher ‘20, who was a member of the ensemble, talked about receiving her costume for the ‘character’ she was assigned: “When you get the costume it’s easier to embody this persona.” The ability of the ensemble to “embody” their different personas was especially important when it came to invoking the energy of the show.
An often overlooked group, but just as important as every other, is the orchestra. They’re not seen throughout the show, but they are there the entire time in the pit playing the music live.
Anthony Nool ‘20, a clarinet player, talked about “the long hours of rehearsal” spent working with his peers as well as the teachers to learn and perfect the music for the show. Despite the strenuous time commitment, it was a good learning experience and provided him with more artistic freedom than he could get in a 45-minute band class.
Being involved with the musical all across the board was a time-consuming and even draining experience. Despite this, however, most people involved seemed to agree with the sentiment expressed by Sabrina Anderson ‘19 (Wednesday Addams): “The best part of being in the musical is the good friends that you make.” It was not easy for the students and teachers involved to put on such a grand production as The Addams Family, but it was an experience that drew them closer together, forming a little family of their own. And as Senior, Maeve Hogan said, the hardest part for their musical family might simply be “saying goodbye.”