Director Donna Koehler holding flowers and trying to hold back the tears following the Mount Pulaski High School Drama Club's performance of "The Addams Family Musical" on Saturday night. On the right is Koehler's daughter Sydney, a senior in the production.

The Addams Family: The MPHS Drama Club production a huge hit

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[April 14, 2015]  MOUNT PULAKSI - Director Donna Koehler has guided the Mount Pulaski High School Drama Club for the past 13 years. With this year's performance of "The Addams Family Musical" on Saturday night, she once again was very proud of her cast and crew.

"I've known these particular kids for many years, so it was extremely rewarding to experience their growth on stage and their joy and excitement as they successfully performed four shows this past weekend," said Koehler. "I especially enjoyed the music. The songs are catchy and it was fun teaching the kids to dance.

There were ten seniors on The Addams Family Musical cast and crew and our saying was, "Take the stage and leave a legacy." What a legacy these seniors will leave. From Elizabeth Allen's stunning portrayal of Morticia to Samantha McCarty and Hannah Riedle fabulously splitting the role of Wednesday at different productions, these senior girls did not miss a mark.

Not to be outdone, the senior boys included Brady Walsh as a phenomenally funny Uncle Fester and Clayton Lindley as a perfectly portrayed Lucas Beineke.

Squeeze in fellow seniors Julia Beccue as Pugsley and Brady Coppinger as Mal Beineke, and it was easy to understand why the audience was nonstop laughter and applause all evening.

Sydney Koehler, a Movie Star Ancestor, and Molly Williams, a Medieval Lady Ancestor, rounded out the senior supporting cast members.

Moving on to a stellar class of juniors, these kids have a bright future ahead. First off, Max Coppinger played the lead role of Gomez and this young man was sensational. Simply put, he nailed it. His voice, his demeanor, his accent and his body language all made for an impeccable Gomez.

Junior Elizabeth Siebert also made for a marvelous Morticia, a role she shared as well with Elizabeth Allen.

Another junior in the production was Miranda Hilliard as Alice Beineke. Where has this girl been? She was outstanding on stage and another example of how Koehler perfectly cast each and every student in this production.

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The final junior in the performance was Lizzie Ford, who danced away all evening as a Flight Attendant Ancestor.

Other notable roles included that of Grandma, shared hilariously by sophomores Eli Olson and T.J. Benhart.

The role of Lurch was also portrayed by a sophomore, Josh Dyer. This kid managed to never crack a smile all evening and simply lurk about the stage in that ever famous creepy Addams way.

Speaking of creepy, one cannot fail to mention Cousin Itt. Freshman Shay Inselmann flawlessly portrayed Cousin Itt.

Many other sophomores and freshmen rounded out the production in various roles. It's pretty easy to say based on the crowd's reaction and the word of mouth around town, that The Addams Family Musical was a huge hit. From the opening number "When You're an Addams" to Uncle Fester's famous line at the end, "To the moon, Alice" this entire cast entertained a captivated audience of all ages.

Indeed these very talented young people of Mount Pulaski High School took the stage for four performances and most certainly left not only a legacy but also many lasting memories of a fantastic run of shows.

[Teena Lowery]

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