Alicia McCorvey has played some great roles in musical theater during her Lexington stage career, including Dolly Levi in “Hello, Dolly!” and Lilli in “Kiss Me, Kate,” and she has sung numerous showstoppers in the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s annual show, “It’s a Grand Night for Singing!”
Now, she can add to her résumé Morticia Addams, a well-known character from the “Addams Family” cartoon, TV show and movies, and only recently, the stage.
“She is gracious, yet definitely in control,” McCorvey says of the dark matriarch. Like many of her other roles, “They’re all women who have to confront some sort of thing that makes them rethink their approach. So they all have some sort of comeuppance that causes them to mull over their stand on a particular issue. But they’re all fun women, definitely.”
With Morticia, who McCorvey plays in The Woodford Theatre’s production of “The Addams Family — A New Musical Comedy,” the crisis is that her 18-year-old daughter Wednesday has fallen in love ... with a “normal” boy!
“The family is dealing with an outside influence,” McCorvey says. “And there’s the shock for Morticia that her family is growing up, and the way that changes things. As it does for any mother or any family, it takes you to a different place as a family unit.”
They’re very happy with being off the beaten path, looking at life through the darkness and finding the joy that is there.
Alicia McCorvey, Morticia in The Woodford Theatre’s production of ‘The Addams Family’
Carmen Geraci plays opposite McCorvey as patriarch Gomez Addams.
“Even though we’ve got some dark lines to say, Gomez delivers them with such childlike zest,” Geraci wrote, responding to email questions. “He’s full of all kinds of love — for his wife, his daughter, his family, his life. Everything is fun! Everything is wonderful! That freedom of emotion really lends itself to musical comedy. And since Gomez talks about dancing throughout the show, I decided he would move like a dancer.”
Actors often try to avoid previous versions of characters they portray, but McCorvey thought it necessary to study previous versions of “The Addams Family,” in the comics, on TV and in the movies. Her character has been played by some stage and screen icons, including Carolyn Jones in the TV series, Anjelica Huston in the first two 1990s movies, and musical theater legend Bebe Neuwirth, who created the role in the Broadway production of the musical, opposite Nathan Lane as Gomez The Broadway production ran from April 2010 to December 2011.
“Since this show was very much based on the cartoon and TV show, it makes it hard to ignore the genesis and history that defines this show,” McCorvey says. “Thank God for YouTube, because that gave me a chance to review the series, as well as the multiple movie versions. Also, to look at some of the original cartoon references was very helpful. They are very much the characters that were in the series, and we try to embody them in this show.”
Geraci, a veteran of numerous Lexington stage productions at Woodford Theatre and elsewhere, didn’t look back as much but says, “it’s hard not to remember the exuberance of John Astin (TV), the suavity of Raul Julia (movies), and the silliness of Nathan Lane.”
At this time of year, both actors say, it is fun to indulge the creepy kookiness of the Addams Family.
“They’re very happy with being off the beaten path, looking at life through the darkness and finding the joy that is there,” McCorvey says. “We are doing this show at just the right time.”
If you go
‘The Addams Family — A New Musical Comedy’
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 14, 15, 21; 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 22; 2 p.m. Oct. 16, 23.
Where: The Woodford Theatre in Falling Springs Arts & Recreation Center, 275 Beasley Dr., Versailles
Special event: “The Addams Family Reunion.” a performance of the show by the understudies, 8 p.m. Oct. 29. Tickets are $10.