The show must go on! The Huntington High School drama club will present “The Addams Family” virtually on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. It will be available for viewing on the Huntington School District’s YouTube channel.
The show is the typical high quality production the Huntington drama club has become famous for through the years. The actors and musicians have risen to the occasion under very challenging conditions to stage a musical that promises to be entertaining and memorable.
The show is billed as “the quarantined concert version” and is called “a new musical comedy.” It’s based on a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.
The cast is exceptionally talented and serious about their craft. It features Ryan Aguirre (playing the role of Gomez Addams), Sarah Biernacki (Morticia Addams), Katherine Eichenberger (Fester), Lauren Holly (Grandma), Hannah Roberts (Wednesday Addams), Aislyn Franciscovich (Pugsley Addams), David Chavez-Hernandez (Lurch), David Canas-Granados (Mail Beineke), Catherine McCooey (Alice Beineke) and Dylan Brinn (Lucas Beineke).
“The Addams Family” ancestors will be played by Layna Abraham, William Berry, Lainey Carney, Delia Caruso, Sydney Cordeiro, Zaida Correal, Erica Flaherty, Landry Flynn, Ariana James, Alexis Kaloudis, Shannon Milner, Charlotte Simon, Lily Tierney and Linnea Wong.
Stage crew members include Cianna Batts, Jazmynn Clark, Beth Heffernan, Aileen Lopez, Caroline Kilgour and Joe Tropeano.
Drama club faculty advisor Michael Swendemann is the show’s director. James DiMeglio is the musical director with Victoria Garbarino serving as vocal coach. Drew Spina is the student director. Props and set decoration were handled by Christine Biernacki. Jennifer Low is in charge of video and editing services. David Chavez-Hernandez, Lainey Carney and Ariana James are the dance captains. Costumes were handled by Norcostco Costume Co. and Christine Biernacki. Stage crew advisors include Glenn DeVeau and Chris DeVeau.
“In this year of hybrid teaching, how apropos that this year’s musical is also a hybrid,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “Rehearsed in person, performed in person (albeit with no audience) and then taped for public consumption. During or rehearsal process we overcame COVID-19, conflicting schedules and the challenges of working on tape without a live audience. I only hope our audience enjoys the show as much as we enjoyed putting it together. From cast to crew to pit I couldn’t be more proud of what the kids accomplished not to mention the contributions of Ms. Garbarino, Mrs. Biernacki, Mr. DiMeglio, and Mr. DeVeau. We couldn’t have had a more dedicated team to make this musical happen this year. We would not have been able to make this production possible without the support of the administration who helped to make this process as close to business as usual for all involved. Now my only hope is that the audience finds us creepy, kooky, and altogether ooky!”
The pit orchestra includes: Violin: Allison Quinn, Ella Siepel, Keenan Lyons, Matt Gelfer; Cello: Sarah Berry; Bass: Grace Wildermuth; Guitar: Teddy Holly; Flute: Jacob LaBarge, Lauren Landolfi, Jorge Cisneros; Clarinet/Alto Saxophone: Cecilia Kye; Alto Saxophone: Rachel Morina; Tenor Saxophone: Sam Levine; Bassoon: Gemma Pellegrini; Trumpet: Alex Prince, Ryan Resky, Bryan Wong; Percussion: Jackson Danseglio, Lauren Gooding, James Kretschmer; Drums: Joe Kieran; Keyboard: Victoria Garbarino, Abigail Simon.
“It was definitely full of new experiences, from singing in masks to filming each scene,” said Ms. Eichenberger said. “Although it wasn’t what I imagined my senior musical would be, I am just grateful that I was able to get on the Huntington High School stage one last time.”
Many weeks of rehearsals resulted in an all-around great production that will always be remembered by those who came together to make it happen.
“The musical was the best,” Mr. Chavez said. “I loved the energy and the people were amazing! Mr. Schwendemann and Ms. Garbarino worked really hard and worked themselves to the core to make this show happen and I’m very glad it happened. Being a part of the show and being dance captain was stressful, but the end result was amazing. A 10 out of 10!”
The actors look very sharp in their costumes and the sets are gorgeous. Everyone associated with the show is proud of what they were able to do.
“The show was so incredibly fun and it really appealed to my personal aesthetic.” Ms. Biernacki. “Although we had challenges along the way, our hard work really pulled through in the end.”
Although it was a very different experience than past productions, students and faculty advisors somehow managed to navigate their way under, over and around a variety of obstacles.
“Working on The Addams Family this year was a blast,” Mr. Aguirre said. “At first, I was a little unsure of what the show was going to be like and if it was going to be as fun as it was in the past due to COVID-19, but I was completely wrong. I couldn’t have asked for a better last show and it was all thanks to Schwen, Garbs and the cast and crew.”