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Macabre musical debuts April 28, runs through May 7

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Centennial High Schools production of The Addams Family, featuring, from left, Miranda Rettinger as Grandma, Emily Brady as Wednesday, William McCracken as Lurch, Zachary Alleger as Gomez, Cami Kaylor as Morticia, Roshan Bozorgnia as Fester and Joseph Kaylor as Pugsley, opens April 28. For her role as Grandmama in a Centennial High School production of the 2010 Broadway musical “The Addams Family,” senior Miranda Rettinger carries around a stuffed rat.

“I don’t think I could personally handle holding a (live) rat for that long,” she says, noting her character is into “everything that’s weird and gross and creepy and crawly.”

That’s just fine with Rettinger — except for the whole rat thing.

“Most of the things that she is into I could handle, but I don’t think I could handle it.”

Rettinger, 17, is among the Centennial students set to stage “The Addams Family” from Thursday to Saturday, April 28 to May 7, at the school, 3505 S.E. 182nd Ave.

Based on the characters made famous first in New Yorker cartoons by Charles Addams, then in a TV series and movies, the musical tells the story of Wednesday Addams, daughter of Morticia and Gomez Addams, who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family.

However, Wednesday hasn’t told her mother, and Gomez must carry keep the secret from Morticia. The couple’s families meet when the Addams host a dinner, and the results are comedic.

“People will be automatically drawn to it,” says Antonio Lucero, a senior who plays Wednesday’s future father-in-law, Mal Beineke. “Audiences will have a hard time not enjoying this.”

Lucero, 17, says his character is “kind of a stick in the mud in the beginning,” uncomfortable in the weird world of the Addams family. Over the course of the musical, we learn Mal “used to be crazy, a bit of a rocker,” Lucero says. “I think the most challenging thing is me and Mal are pretty

much opposites.” Mal is somewhat rude and expresses his disapproval of various situations through such nonverbal cues as pinching the top of his nose.

Lurching forward

Senior Cami Kaylor, 18, plays Morticia Addams, whom she describes as “very composed and very graceful and at the same time, calculating.” Kaylor says she’s played more physically expressive characters in past Centennial plays, and had to tone down for the show.

“I think the biggest challenge is having to restrain from being really big and expressive with my arms,” she says, adding all the actors use nonverbal language to convey a wide range of emotions. “You can look at any person and see a whole different aspect of the story because there’s a whole lot of little different things going on at the same time.

Senior Zachary Alleger plays Gomez, “the part I’ve been wanting all year,” the 18 year old says, noting he’s been watching the Addams Family TV shows and movies for years.

“I love all the songs in the show. They’re so alive,” Alleger says, noting his character sings throughout the performance. Gomez’s signature piece in the show is “Not Today,” in which he bemoans that his wife is being cold to him. “It’s really deep, and it’s really funny. The notes are perfect for me. The low notes, the high notes are all in my range. I just love it.”

Cast of characters

In addition to the aforementioned actors, “The Addams Family” features sophomore Emily Brady as Wednesday, Senior Roshan Bozorgnia as Uncle Fester, freshman Joseph Kaylor as Pugsley, senior William McCracken as Lurch, senior Natalie Hurley as Alice Beineke and freshman Christopher Mendez as Lucas Beineke.

Children younger than 5 will only be asked to pay if they will be sitting in their own seat. The show has some crude humor and

mild language, so parents are advised to use discretion when bringing children.

If you go

WHAT: ‘The Addams Family’

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, April 28 to May 7

WHERE: Centennial High School, 3505 S.E. 182nd Ave.

COST: Reserved tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens.

INFO: 503-762-7511, centennialhsor.seatyourself.biz