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Were you charmed by the ancestors in Good Company’s ‘Addams Family’? Here’s a chance to know some of them better.

Let’s give a shout-out to the Fresno branch of the Addams Ancestors. You can spend this whole delightful show just watching them. Throughout the show, they act as a cross between a Greek chorus, commenting on and influencing the live Addamses running around on stage, and as a Broadway chorus line, always willing to pitch in with a song and a dance.

Though we never learn their names, we can tell by their costumes that these ghostly characters come from different time periods.

In honor of the show’s final weekend (the last performance is Sunday, Nov. 7), I decided to shine the spotlight on four of them. What makes these Ancestors tick?

Here’s the email I sent them:

First of all, my apologies if you don’t understand the medium through which you’re receiving this communication. If you’re from a time when messages involved couriers wearing Roman sandals or guys in lighthouses flashing signals at each other, email might be a strange experience.

Then again, you’ve already been stuck in 2021 for a while and are already familiar with indoor plumbing (although there’s just one bathroom upstairs at Roger Rocka’s, right?) and Chinese takeout. I’m sure you’re great adapters. Here are your questions!

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And here are their answers, in order of their place in the Addams genealogy.


THE CAVEMAN (channeled by Rob Gaertig)

Describe your character. What were the approximate dates you were alive?

My name is Adam Addams, but I go by Caveman for short. I am the original Addams Ancestor. We did not keep track of time, but I am told that I lived during the Paleolithic Age. It was 2 million years ago and lasted for over a million years!

Were you a famous person or just an Average Joe, or Average Joette, or Average J (nonbinary)?

I guess I am just average. But I did discover how to make tools out of stone.

Back when you were alive, what was a typical day like for you?

I hunted wild animals for meat and gathered food, firewood, and materials for my tools, clothes, or shelters. I would go fishing for most of the day. Fishing is a lot safer than hunting large dinosaurs. I also slept a lot.

Think fast: What do you think of deodorant? I hate to be indecorous, but when you were alive and if I could have smelled you, how would I react?

What is that? I don’t know anything about deodorant. I think I smell regular, but if you say I am smelly, I am OK with that.

As a ghost, have you ever scared anyone to death?

I take the opportunity when I can. I once scared the cavemen from the Geico commercial. They ran away very fast.

Fill in the blank: I’m most proud of __________.

… how popular the Addams family has grown. It started with just me and my caveman wife. Her name is Eve.

What was your last meal?

I had a plate of nuts and a few fire roasted fish. I wasn’t planning on that day to be my last!

Why does the sea rush to shore?

The sea is trying to call me closer to the water and then suck me out to sea. I can’t swim, so I stay away from the ocean.

If you could fool around with anyone from 2021, who would it be?

Not sure which way to answer this question, so… If it is “hang out with” — I would like to hang out with Tom Hanks. I’ve seen some of his movies and he makes me laugh. If it is a “date” — I would like to be with Scarlett Johansson.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give Wednesday and Lucas?

Don’t take life so seriously. People have become dependent on having the next big thing. Enjoy what you have! Get what you need.


THE COWGIRL (channeled by Olga Bergstrom)

Describe your character. What were the approximate dates you were alive?

I was seen as sassy, reckless cowgirl in my day — 1880-1939. I marched to my own drum, as all in our Addams line do. Why would I do it any other way? I liked adventure and pulling off dangerous feats in the arena — and it was even better when done in a flashy getup!

Are you a famous person or just an Average Joe, or Average Joette, or Average J (nonbinary)? If you were famous, what were you best known for?

I’m Prairie Rose Henderson, a champion bronc rider from Wyoming. Bronc riding! Life’s a bucking horse. You get on, hold on, fly off and get back up and do it all over again! Yaaahoooo! According to sources, Prairie Rose made a name for herself during the golden age of rodeo as a champion bronc rider. She became a fierce relay racer, dazzling the crowds not only with her daring feats in the arena but also with her fashion sense and flair for beautiful and inventive performance costumes.


Related stories: DOES LEX MARTIN WEAR A PINSTRIPE SUIT AND MOON OVER MORTICIA IN GOOD COMPANY’S ‘ADDAMS FAMILY’ REVIVAL? OF CORPSE HE DOES.
And: THEATER REVIEW: THE ADDAMSES DROP IN ON FRESNO AND STAY FOR A LAUGH-FILLED, WONDERFULLY SUNG VISIT AT ROGER ROCKA’S

Back when you were alive, what was a typical day like for you?

I’d get up at the crack of dawn and ride across the prairie at break-neck speed on my trusty horse. I’d give him a rest while I took care of things at the house – serve up the coffee with a shot of whiskey, cut up the wood, make sure the children were getting into mischief and take a tumble with the Mister. Then, I was back to my horse to push the limits of reckless and prepare for the next rodeo!

Think fast: What do you think of deodorant? I hate to be indecorous, but when you were alive and if I could have smelled you, how would I react?

Well, I’m not going to say I smelled like roses since I was out ridin’ all day, but I did make sure to take a dip in the nearby stream to freshen up before supper. So, I reckon it would depend on the time of day you met me. But, hell, if you met me when I was on my horse, I’d hope my smell would not be what you’d noticed!

As a ghost, have you ever scared anyone to death?

Well, I’ve definitely spooked a few horses! And that may have led to some trouble or a few injuries here and there. Not sure, if anyone’s died though. Or at least they haven’t come to let me know. Hah!

Fill in the blank: I’m most proud of ____________.

… keeping up the Addams’ tradition of fearlessness!

What was your last meal?

I reckon I can’t remember my last meal, but I can tell you that you should not be sucking a toffee when you get on a bucking horse. I’m not sure that’s how I expected to ride my last ride, but who’s to say!

Why does the sea rush to shore?

To remind you that you are alive and can be swallowed up at any moment, so you better live life with all the passion of the ocean!

If you could fool around with anyone from 2021, who would it be?

Ooohhh. Well, that Brett Eldredge is quite the looker and his songs make me swoon, which is saying something for this ol’ gal! So, you can put the rest together!

What is the one piece of advice you’d give Wednesday and Lucas?

Keep it saucy! And thanks for letting us hoot and howl during your love story!


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THE WORLD WAR I SOLDIER (channeled by Diego Sosa)

Describe your character. What were the approximate dates you were alive?

James “Ten-Hut” Addams was a World War 1 soldier who was born in 1885 and died in action in 1915 at the age of 30.

Are you a famous person or just an Average Joe, or Average Joette, or Average J (nonbinary)? If you were famous, what were you best known for?

I was well known in the army for my ability to stay in ten-hut position even in battle.

Back when you were alive, what was a typical day like for you?

A typical day was waking up in No Man’s Land and awaiting orders. And as best we could, keep alive.

Think fast: What do you think of deodorant? I hate to be indecorous, but when you were alive and if I could have smelled you, how would I react?

If smells could kill, I would have made a world record. Of course, in the afterlife, things are much cleaner.

As a ghost, have you ever scared anyone to death?

Not recently (wink).

Fill in the blank: I’m most proud of ____________.

… my ability to salute faster than the other soldiers.

What was your last meal?

A bowl of soup.

Why does the sea rush to shore?

Our battalion didn’t get to the beach yet. But I shore wish we did.

If you could fool around with anyone from 2021, who would it be?

Sam Mendes (director of the recent World War I movie “1917”). He just gets me.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give Wednesday and Lucas?

Make your ancestors proud. And salute.


THE MOBSTER (channeled by Marcus Cardenas)

Describe your character. What were the approximate dates you were alive?

Mob gangster “Triggerman.” Jan. 17, 1894 – Sept. 17, 1945.

Are you a famous person or just an Average Joe, or Average Joette, or Average J (nonbinary)? If you were famous, what were you best known for?

Who, me…?

Back when you were alive, what was a typical day like for you?

Wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day, bathed and shaved. Read the New York Herald Tribune. And always have my eggs and bacon with black coffee to start the day. From there, you’d have to join to see what a “typical” day looks like..

Think fast: What do you think of deodorant? I hate to be indecorous, but when you were alive and if I could have smelled you, how would I react?

Why are you smelling me…?

As a ghost, have you ever scared anyone to death?

This isn’t my first rodeo..

Fill in the blank: I’m most proud of ____________.

… the fact that we got a SWEET deal on the manor in Central Park.

What was your last meal?

Mother’s chicken noodle soup.

Why does the sea rush to shore?

Ask Skeeter Davis …

If you could fool around with anyone from 2021, who would it be?

We made it to 2021…??

What is the one piece of advice you’d give Wednesday and Lucas?

Keep it fresh.


 


Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

Comments (3)

  • Janet Baker

    This was a really fun article.

    reply
  • Jackie Ryle

    Great read. Thank you, Donald. Attending this evening. This heightens my anticipation and understanding!

    reply
  • Margie Vogt

    I know the show is over, but I just read this delightful article! I enjoyed your questions, Donald, and laughed & smiled at the answers from the ancestors! We saw the show earlier in the run, and it was so much fun!! ( Shoutout to our pals Kindle, Lex, & Brian!)

    reply

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