‘Addams Family’ at BHS Features Local Equity Actress

Apr 14, 2016
Brigid Harrington

It’s not often a high school theater company production has a professional in their midst.

But that’s the case for the Barnegat High School’s Bengal Theater Company, whose production of “The Addams Family” features Brigid Harrington. The school sophomore, who appears courtesy of Actor’s Equity, will play “Wednesday” in the musical.

Harrington, who is 16, has appeared on Broadway as Jane Banks in “Mary Poppins” and at Philadelphia’s historic Walnut Street Theatre as Susan Waverly in “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.” The teen is the voice of Koko in the Disney Channel’s animated series “Chuggington.” 

Last year, she won the “People’s Choice” in the New Jersey Shout-Down Drugs songwriting competition and performed her original song at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

A former student of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s Performing Arts Academy, Harrington said this will be her first performance with the Bengal troupe.

“Keri (Bollenbach) is a wonderful director,” said Harrington. “Barnegat has a great theater program and there is a lot of talent here. I’m really happy to be a part of it. I’ve been to their shows in the past and was really impressed.”  

In the show, Harrington said she solos on “Pulled, and performs in the duet “Crazier Than You.”

“I saw the show when it was on Broadway, and it was very funny,” said Harrington, who also performs with the high school’s select choir. “I had worked with the actor who played Pugsley (Adain Riegler). I think the audiences are really going to love this."”   

“The Addams Family” features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family (Lucas, played by Thomas Kray) – a man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

Other cast members include Melanie DeRosa (Morticia Addams) , Danny Koser (Gomez Adams), Brandon Marandola (Uncle Fester), Amber Vangi (Grandmama), Collin Paul (Lurch), Mikey Koser (Puglsey), Rachel Miller (Alice), Alex Dubinsky (Mal) and Gabby Llopez (Cousin Itt).  

“It’s been a few years since we’ve done a comedy,” said Bollenbach. “It’s been a lot of fun for the kids rehearsing, and having Brigid with us is really special.”

The Addams Family’s fictional characters were created by cartoonist Charles Addams, beginning in 1938 when they were featured in the New Yorker magazine. The group was an eccentrically wealthy clan whose tastes are rather macabre and oblivious to the fact that other people find them bizarre if not downright frightening.

“The Addams Family” was turned into TV show that ran two seasons (1964-1966). It aired during the same period as another TV show, “The Munsters,” often drawing comparisons. “The Addams Family” had a whole new generation of fans when it was made into two movies in 1991 and 1993, featuring Raul Julia, Angelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd.

Performances are scheduled in the high school auditorium on Thursday to Saturday, April 28 to 30, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors.

To reserve a seat, log on to barnegatschools.com or call the high school at 609-660-7510.

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

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