All together ooky

By Geoff Lee

January 19, 2016 12:43 PM

Val Newkirk sang American Idol style to audition for the Addams Family musical at the Lloydminster Legacy Centre, set to hit the stage in late April.

Addams Family coming to local stage

It was like American Idol for those who auditioned for a part in the Addams Family musical at the Lloydminster Legacy Centre.
Play director Pat Hankey asked everyone who turned up for two-day trials last week to sing a song, perform a vocal range test and read from the script one at a time.
“We’re looking for a couple of strong lead characters, Gomez and Morticia,” said Hankey.
“There are also a couple of roles for younger people.”
Hankey said everybody has to sing and act in the musical and be willing to learn a few basic dance steps.
The musical — based on the 1930s cartoon, which was later transformed into a1960s television, and then into several movies — will go into rehearsal at the end of February when the cast is selected.
It’s scheduled to hit the stage from April 21 to April 24.
There were plenty of nervous Gomez, Morticia and Wednesday Addams wannabees to fill the lead roles in the kooky upside-down world created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938.
One of the potential stars was Amber Clayton, from Western Financial Group, who was over the moon knowing Hankey was directing the musical.
“She was my high school teacher and a mentor of mine,” she said.
“I am beyond excited that she’s doing it this year.”
Clayton sees herself as a Morticia or a Wednesday, but noted she’s flexible and excited to audition. “I’ve been singing before I could even talk.”
Clayton has fond memories of being in the Wizard of Oz when she was in Grade 12 at Holy Rosary High School where Hankey directed before she retired from her teaching career.
Val Newkirk, a mobile hairdresser, had her motor running with excitement the moment she walked in the door.
“I love doing plays,” she said.
“I’ve been in four plays at Kitscoty and then I got sick and I haven’t been able to do it for a couple years, so I thought I would try again this year.”
Newkirk joked because she had a limp in her leg she would make a perfect Grandmama Addams.
Every member of the Addams clan is wacky, unconventional and lovable.
To the Addams, to be sad is to be happy, to feel pain is to feel joy, and death and suffering are the stuff of their dreams.
The musical pitches a challenge to their family values when their 18 year-old daughter, Wednesday, wants to marry a guy named Lucas who comes from a normal Ohio family.
Hankey said she jumped at the chance to direct this year’s musical following her past experiences, which included directing four or five shows, including Nunsense, No No Nanette and Anne of Green Gables when the St. John Anglican Church still had a stage.
“If you talk to anybody who’s been involved in experiences like this they just love it,” she said.
“It’s lots of work, but it’s lots of fun.”
Christopher Wyse, a guest services manager at Days Inn, tried out for the part of Luc after performing in the local production of Lend Me a Tenor last year.
“I’ve been acting in plays for the past couple of years and I figured why not, let’s try out,” he said.
Fifteen year-old Cori Groom, who attends College Park School, said he hopes to be picked for Wednesday Addams.
She could be a natural.
“I’ve been in multiple musicals already and I love to get involved with the dinner theatre and things like that,” she said with an eye to acting as a career.
“The Addams Family has also interested me.”
Hankey said it’s a fun night out and it’s also a major fundraiser of the year for the Legacy Centre, with a goal to match the $30,000 it raised last year.
The event is a dinner theatre and the $45 tickets go on sale March 1.
The schedule starts with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. followed by a roast beef dinner at 6 p.m. and showtime at 7:30 p.m.
Hankey noted all the food is donated by Lloydminster and District Co-op and is cooked and served to up to 160 show goers a night by local seniors.

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