DAG launches season with ‘Addams Family – the Musical’

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Allen Park residents Carolyn Sohoza (left), as Morticia and Chris Chavez as Gomez perform in “The Addams Family – the Musical,” for two weekends, Oct. 16 to 25, with the Downriver Actors Guild. For tickets, call 313-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Allen Park residents Carolyn Sohoza (left), as Morticia and Chris Chavez as Gomez perform in “The Addams Family – the Musical,” for two weekends, Oct. 16 to 25, with the Downriver Actors Guild. For tickets, call 313-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.


“The Addams Family – the Musical” launches the Downriver Actors Guild’s main subscription season Oct. 16 with a two-weekend run at the Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 1656 Biddle in Wyandotte.

The romantic musical comedy features Andrew Lippa’s 2010 Tony Award-nominated Best Original Score, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

When Wednesday Addams, now grown up, brings home a “normal” young man she loves, and introduces him and his parents to her family, Gomez and Morticia Addams find their world turned upside down until Uncle Fester and an ensemble of ghostly Addams ancestors step in to help.

Directed by Valerie Haas of Inkster, the show runs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24, and 3 p.m. Oct. 18 and 25.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. To order, call 313-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

Haas said it is a fun show, a cross between the television program and the movie.

“The music is fun, and it’s got this sort of kitsch going on, this sort of cultural zeitgeist,” Haas said. “Everybody knows the Addams Family, everybody snaps along with the music.”

Haas said the show has pop rock type songs, and a tango in the second act performed by Morticia, Gomez and several ancestors.

“The Tango de Amor is essentially Morticia forgiving Gomez for keeping a secret from her,” Haas said. “It is the most romantic, seductive dance in the world.”

The Addams ancestor ensemble plays a key role in the show, Haas said.

“The ancestors come out of the crypt one night a year to celebrate what it is to be an Addams,” Haas said. “On this particular night, Fester announces that nobody’s going back until the ancestors help Wednesday to resolve her dilemma, which is that she has fallen in love with someone who is an outsider.”

Haas said the show is about the many different aspects of love – familial love, romantic love, and for your children.
“It’s about love and loyalty of your family, that you are connected to your family in a way that even if you are not appreciative of it, the people who came before you made you who you are,” Haas said. “You can either honor that, or you can push it away, and yet still they are part of who you are.”

She said the show has a big focus on family.

“Even if we fight, even if we don’t get along, we still love each other, and we still have a connection, and we can make it OK,” Haas said. “There is a lot of love and respect for the family idea.”

Carolyn Sohoza of Allen Park, who plays Morticia, recommends the show for the entire family, and said its run, just before Halloween, is good timing.

Sohoza said she always liked the Addams Family story, and is pleased to be playing Morticia.

“She’s very strong-minded,” Sohoza said. “She’s the one that has to keep the family together. Even though Gomez thinks he is the head of the family, she is the glue that holds everybody together.”

Chris Chavez of Allen Park, who plays Gomez, said he enjoyed the original 1960s television program and always loved its premise. He said he finds the character of Gomez, a torn individual, appealing.

“He’s in love with his wife, he’s in love with his daughter, and he’s all torn up with how to make things work,” Chavez said. “Gomez is opposed to secrets, but he has to go with his daughter’s wishes, so he goes along, much to his chagrin later.”

Jami Krause of Wyandotte, who plays Alice Beineke, the mother of Lucas, Wednesday’s beau, said the character appealed to her because it encouraged her to go outside of her comfort zone.

“It’s definitely the most challenging role I have ever played,” Krause said. “She is a very strong character role, and I wanted to challenge myself.”

Others in the cast include Matt Mayes of Trenton as Uncle Fester, Jeanne Edwards of Grosse Ile Township as Grandmama, Mindy Padlo of Brownstown Township as Wednesday, and Logan Skidmore, 12, of Monroe as Pugsley.

Mitchell Sturm of Taylor plays Lurch, with Cole Haas, 13, of Inkster as Thing and Cousin It, Chris Washburn of Garden City as Lucas Beineke, and Jeff Hollon of Trenton as his father, Mel Beineke.

The ancestor ensemble includes Allen Park residents Nathan Vasquez, Kayla Chavez, 15, Emily Braun, 16, and Abbey Demorow, 16; Michael Suchyta of Dearborn; Ivy Tarnoski of Trenton; Alex Rosen, 17, of Lincoln Park; Riley Klauza, 15, of Garden City; Abby Hill-Kennedy of Monroe; and Jamey Pittman of Romulus.


Ethan Kankula of Wyandotte will perform in the Matrix Teen Company’s annual Halloween horror show, “Haunted Theatre” at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 at the Matrix Theatre, 2730 Bagley in Detroit.

Ticket are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For more information or to order tickets, call 313-967-0599 or go to www.matrixtheatre.org.

Written and performed by the Matrix Teen Company, “Haunted Theatre” focuses on a group of high school students who receive mysterious, exclusive invitations to attend a premier Detroit haunted house, but when they arrive, they discover they face much more than they expected. Trapped within a game, they must fight their way through to survive.

“We are very proud of the work our teens have done writing this play,” said Andrea Scobie, director of Teen Company and the production. “The audience will get to make some choices that influence what our characters do on stage, and aside from being a new challenge for our actors, we think it’ll be a really fun experience for patrons as well.”

Also in the Matrix Teen Company are Detroit residents Zaria Bell, Gabrielle Clayton, Tanai Dawson, Celynah Kirkland, Hassan Marong, Yasir Muhammad, Joelle Sanders, Heavyn Word, and Dwayne Wright.


Back to school means exciting new theater options from Wayne State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

WSU’s graduate Hilberry Theatre company opens with the Richard Bean comedy, “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

Guest directed by Lenny Banovez, the show runs Oct. 2 to 17 at the Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass in Detroit.

When a man ends up working for a local gangster and his criminal rival, he must keep them from finding out he works for both. The side-splitting comedy is filled with satire and one-liners.

For tickets, call 313-577-2972 or go to hilberry1.com.


The Bonstelle, WSU’s undergraduate theater company, launches its season with the classic comedy “Lysistrata: A Woman’s Translation” by Drue Robinson.

When the women of Sparta and Greece become fed up with the constant warfare of their husbands, they vow to remain chaste until the men stop fighting.

The show is billed as a fast-paced celebration of womanhood.

“Lysistrata” runs 8 p.m. Oct. 9, 10, 16 and 17, and 2 p.m. Oct. 11 and 19 at the Bonstelle Theater, 3424 Woodward in Detroit.

For tickets or more information, call 313-577-2960 or go to bonstelle1.com.

Hannah Butcher of Taylor plays the title role, Lysistrata, and Kevin Talanges of Dearborn plays several ensemble roles.


Wayne State’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents staged readings of “The Detroit Projects” at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 to 15 at the Charles H. Wright Museum, 315 E. Warren in Detroit.

The three-play trilogy recounts three pivotal moments of the black experience in Detroit’s history: 1949, 1967 and 2008.

Oct. 13 features “Pardise Blue,” set in 1949 in a jazz club in Detroit’s Paradise Valley, now Lafayette Park.

Oct. 14 features “Detroit ’67,” during the Motown explosion and the height of the civil rights movement.

Oct. 15 features “Skeleton Crew,” which follows four auto workers facing layoffs during the 2008 recession.

The staged readings are a free community event.