Join Gomez, Morticia and the whole kooky, spooky family as they take up residence at The Lewis and Shirley White Theatre of The Jewish Community Center (The J) in musical “The Addams Family” as the opening production of its 2022-2023 season. Featuring a talented cast of local performers, “The Addams Family” opens on Saturday evening, Oct. 29 (7:30 p.m. curtain) and continues through Nov. 20. Subsequent performance dates include Thursdays Nov. 3,10 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays Nov. 5, 12 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays Oct. 30, Nov. 6, 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.
With a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elica, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (“The Wild Party,” “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”) “The Addams Family” features an original story embracing the wackiness in every family. Daughter Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is all grown up now and has sent her parents into a tizzy by falling in love with a “normal” young man from a “respectable” family.
Everything comes to a head when the Addams’ host the boyfriend and his parents for dinner. Zaniness ensues, including dancing ancestors, and all the craziness one would expect from this comical feast of a musical.
“The Addams Family” garnered numerous honors during its Broadway run, including a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and the 2010 Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre.
Returning to The White Theatre as director/choreographer’ is Guy Gardner, who also directed this summer’s wildly successful production of “Matilda” at the theatre. Gardner brings a unique vision to this production of “The Addams Family,” teaming up with musical director, James Levy.
“‘The Addams Family, although ‘creepy and kooky,’ are the most loyal family in the entertainment world. We should all strive to have a love as strong as Gomez and Morticia’s or have the unyielding support that they give their children and family members,” Gardner said. “One of the best quotes from Charles Addams cartoons, in my opinion, is when Morticia says ‘Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider is a calamity for the fly’. We’ve approached this show that way – that normal is an Illusion. We’ve taken a sleek modern approach to deliver what ‘The Addams Family’ would be in 2022. With an amazing design team, we’ve been able to create a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to delight audiences.”
The talented cast of The White Theatre production of “The Addams Family” comes from all over the metro area with credits at various theatres. In the role of Gomez Addams is Shane St. James, making his debut at The White Theatre. St. James has performed extensively in the metro area, including productions with Theatre in the Park INDOOR and OUTDOOR, Summit Theatre Group and Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. Heather Lewallen appears as Gomez’ wife Morticia, returning to The White Theatre after a several-year absence. Audiences may remember Lewallen for her previous appearances as Penny Pingleton in “Hairspray” and Louise in “Gypsy”. She’s has also performed at the New Theatre Restaurant, Musical Theatre Heritage and Chestnut Fine Arts Center.
Other veterans of The White Theatre stage in this production include Pam Sollars as Grandma (“Cabaret”), Ben Renfrow as Lucas Beineke (“Surviving Hitler,” “Newsies,” “Mary Poppins”), and Ancestors Mandy Dulny, Abigail Knepper, and Alex Gumminger. Among the cast members making their debuts at The White Theatre are Mia Cabrera in the role of Wednesday, Sutton Hamm as Pugsley, Damon Bradshaw as Fester, and Aaron Hoffman as Lurch.
Now in its 18th season, The White Theatre at The J presents a full slate of entertainment and educational offerings that include a Theatre Series, a Concert Series and line-up of Special Engagements, all produced by The J’s Arts + Culture Department in a state-of-the-art, 500-seat performing arts community theatre. In addition to individual show tickets, Season ticket packages are now on sale for the entire exciting line-up of entertainment at TheWhiteTheatre.org and The White Theatre Box Office.
Highlights this coming season include the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” staged for the first time in Kansas City since its 2016 Broadway tour, as well as Lorraine Hansberry’s dramatic classic “A Raisin in the Sun,” produced in partnership with the Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City, featuring special matinee performances for area schools. The season will also include the second show of The White Theatre’s New Works Initiative, partnering with The Culture House, as well as a one-man show with the support of The Truman Library Institute. The season will close in the summer of 2023 with the amazing musical story and family favorite, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.
Full descriptions and performance times for each event are available at TheWhiteTheatre.org. Auditions for various musicals and plays produced by The White Theatre productions are announced on The White Theatre website as well as Facebook page.
The White Theatre is both welcoming and inclusive, providing ADA accessible-seating options, access without steps, assistive listening devices, and The J’s signature open captioning system at select performances, making live theatre accessible for all patrons.
“The Addams Family” Cast
(Character, performer, city of residence)
Gomez Addams – Shane St. James, Kansas City, MO
Morticia Addams – Heather Lewallen, Overland Park
Wednesday Addams – Mia Cabrera, Overland Park
Pugsley Addams – Sutton Hamm, Olathe
Fester – Damon Bradshaw, Kansas City, MO
Grandma – Pam Sollars, Kansas City, MO
Lurch – Aaron Hoffman, Lenexa
Lucas Beineke – Ben Renfrow, Warrensburg, MO
Alice Beineke – Alyson Golladay, Kansas City, MO
Mal Beineke – Brad Dawdy, Kansas City, MO
The Addams Family Ancestors
Mandy Dulny, Shawnee
Malachi Fuimaono, Independence, MO
Alex Gumminger, Kansas City, KS
Tristan Jacobson, Kansas City, MO
Abi Knepper, Olathe
Cody Kreutzer, Overland Park
Mia Valentine, Overland Park
Myel White, Raytown, MO
AJ Valle, Lee’s Summit, MO
The White Theatre is located at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City (The J), 5801 W. 115th St., in Overland Park. “The Addams Family” is rated PG. Tickets are now available online at TheWhiteTheatre.org, at the box office, either by calling (913) 327-8054, or in person at 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park. The White Theatre box office is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as 60 minutes before curtain on performance days.
About The White Theatre
The Lewis & Shirley White Theatre, built in 2005, is a 500 seat, state-of-the-art venue that hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year. Its annual theatre and concert series continues a 90+ year community theatre tradition, established in 1932, with The Resident Theatre, the region’s first and longest-running community theatre. Ample free parking is available, and the theatre is entirely accessible for those of all abilities. The theatre is available for private rentals for area non-profit groups.
About The J
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City opened in 1914 in midtown Kansas City, Missouri and has grown and adapted to serve the changing needs of Greater Kansas City’s Jewish and secular communities. Our mission is to build a strong, vibrant and inclusive community that enhances wellness, meaning, and joy, based on Jewish values, heritage, and culture. We are a welcoming community that embodies Jewish values in a safe and respectful environment. People of all ages and backgrounds learn and grow at our ‘home away from home.’ For more information, visit TheJKC.org.