Does Lex Martin wear a pinstripe suit and moon over Morticia in Good Company’s ‘Addams Family’ revival? Of corpse he does.
I promise I won’t spell out the famous snippet of music that opens “The Addams Family” until the end of this interview. You know, just in case you want to avoid having it rattle around your skull all day. What’s that, you say? Your brain has already filled in that famous motif at its mere mention, and now you can’t make it stop playing on an endless loop?
Gomez Addams would be pleased.
For Lex Martin, the new Good Company Players production of “The Addams Family” — which opens Thursday, Sept. 16, for a two-month run (plenty of time for a carcass to fully rot, thank you very much) — is more than just a chance to play in the ensemble or have a secondary role.
This time around, the GCP veteran gets a starring gig. He plays Gomez, the patriarch of the Addams clan. In taking on the role, he joins a cast that features a lot of returning Addamses from the 2014 production, also at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. I caught up with Martin to speak macabre-ly (is that a word?) about the show.
Q: So, Lex, you’re the new Gomez. ‘Fess up: The real reason you wanted the role was so you could wear that pencil mustache and pinstripe suit, right?
A: Isn’t that what everyone wants when being Gomez?! (Laughs.) But truthfully, I’m so excited to get the chance to be Gomez and bring my own personal take to him in this show. He’s a wonderful character who has so many layers. He’s confident, passionate, not afraid to show affection to his wife and kids, all while still allowing himself to be vulnerable. Getting to tackle someone like that and step in his shoes, or rather pinstripe suit, was a big pull for me wanting this role.
Q: Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of “Addams Family” fandom before you auditioned for the show, with (1) being a “Morticia? Did you mean mortician?” and (10) being “able to write a master’s thesis on Thing’s disembodied significance in an America struggling with a lack of corporeal cohesion.”
A: Oooh… I’d have to say I’m in the 7 range, it being a “I am currently looking for a fencing/tango hybrid class.” “The Addams Family” was a good portion of my childhood, specifically the ‘90s movies and cartoons; plus the one time they guest starred on “Scooby Doo.” I remember either watching these things as a kid at home, or when visiting my cousin to watch the movies. They were something I looked forward to and really enjoyed.
Q: Now that you’ve researched the role, which Gomez do you think you’re most similar to? (Compared to the movies, TV series, cartoon, etc.)
A: There are so many versions!! And I wanted to take elements from the different Gomezes over the years. It was a lot to sift through, but I’d have to say Raul Julia’s performance was the one that I kept coming back to the most. The fire and energy he brought was amazing, and just wonderful to watch. It’s been fun trying to bring a bit of that to the stage while making the role my own.
Q: Complete this sentence: If Gomez ran for president, his platform would be ____________.
A: Ensuring you are happy in this life… and the next.
The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.
Q: I hear there was a little plumbing mishap in the GCP rehearsal hall while working on the show and you all got flooded out of the place. That seems like a very “Addams Family” thing to happen: a disaster leaves a mucky, rotten smell and makes your feet squish when you try to dance. What did you do to overcome this setback?
A: Thankfully it wasn’t to that extent, and everything was handled very quickly and professionally. Our practices moved to a different venue while the company was busy making sure all the items were fine in the rehearsal hall. One thing I really respect about this cast and crew is how quickly they adapt. Also, I think the Addamses would have been perfectly fine if the flooding and muck happened to them… in fact they’d probably prefer it. (Laughs.)
Q: You’re a familiar face on the GCP stage, but you’ve never had a leading role like this before. Tell us about some of your past shows. What was your favorite role?
A: Yeah, it’s been great having the chance to have been part of a few shows with GCP. “The Wedding Singer,” “Curtains,” “West Side Story,” “Sister Act” and “All Shook Up” are just a few I can think of. I’ve felt very lucky. Although it’s hard to pick, Sipos in “She Loves Me” was a really great role. I just loved the cast and the material. Definitely helped that it was during Christmas time, which is my favorite time of the year.
Q: Gomez is a romantic, passionate guy. And, Lex, I hear you just got engaged! Total coincidence? Or is it just a calculated marketing ploy to sell the show? Are you slated to get married on closing night?
A: He is, and yes I did, thank you! As much as I love the idea of it being a “marketing ploy” it was just me being ready to move forward with the woman I adore, who is now my fiancée. Oddly enough, I found out about getting the role of Gomez two days before I proposed, so overall, it was a very memorable trip! How Gomez is with Morticia is inspiring to say the least while taking these next steps.
Q: Many of the other leading actors in the show are reprising their roles from the 2014 production (need to check on the date). Was it intimidating coming in as a new kid on the block?
A: Not at all. I think I was just so lucky to have been coming in and having known many of the actors already from either working with them in past shows or spending time with them as friends. If anything, I was just more inspired to match their level. They’re all such fantastic performers and beautiful people, it made everything easy. I think a lot of us “new kids” felt that way.
Q: Do you wake up in the middle of the night with “Da-da-duh-duh, snap-snap” going through your head? Do you think it will ever go away?
A: Just got it out of my head, but now it’s back, thanks. (Laughs.) That theme plus A LOT of the songs in the show are constantly stuck in my head, and it’s not really a bad thing. I love the music! I wouldn’t be surprised if years from now I’m still humming these tunes or singing them full blast in my car.
Q: Why do you hope people come to see “The Addams Family”?
A: Simply just that it’s fun! I think it will give you a chance to escape for a bit and enjoy being a watcher into the Addams’ lives. I feel we have a really spectacular cast and production that I would love others to see. On top of that, I hope it will allow people to laugh, or find a connection that they can relate to. Just like I feel “The Addams Family” has been doing all these years.