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Alisha adds wow factor for The Addams Family

By Kyabram Free Press

SHE is far from being a conservative from Ohio, in the bible belt of conservative America, a devoted mother and fed-up housewife who often speaks in rhyme, but Alisha Van Der Munnik has more in common with her character in The Addams Family than she expected.

The 27-year-old clinical nurse educator from Kyabram stars as Alice Beneike in the upcoming Echuca-Moama Theatre Company production.

Quirky Alice is the mother of Lucas — Wednesday’s boyfriend — who is so devoted to her family, she puts aside her own desires.

‘‘Alice is the quintessential woman — full of love and a little crazy,’’ Alisha said.

‘‘I think a lot of women would identify with her. Despite her problems, Alice still finds a way to see the joy in every situation, (even if sometimes she is convincing herself more than others), and I love that about her.

‘‘Her story is about being true to yourself and that certainly resonates with me.’’

She hopes to bring that across in her portrayal of Alice.

‘‘Her character could be done a thousand different ways but a lot of work has gone into making her this torn, desperate, shell of a woman who just wants to be loved for who she really is,’’ she said.

‘‘There is a pivotal moment for Alice in the show and I can’t wait to share it with the audience. Full disclosure!’’

Director Luke Westley said there was only one word to describe Alisha’s portrayal of Alice.

‘‘And that’s ‘wow’. She nailed the role from day one,’’ he said.

‘‘She works incredibly hard developing the character and her background story to inspire her role on stage.

‘‘When audiences see Alice’s big song, I have absolutely no doubt they’ll be on a rollercoaster from fits of laughter, feeling her pain and blown away by her powerhouse vocals.’’

While Alisha has always been involved in theatre, this is only her second show with EMTC after starring as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray in 2015.

‘‘I was keen to get back to the stage after stage managing for Dillmac in 2018 and 2017,’’ she said.

And this show as well as the people involved were some of the reasons she wanted in.

‘‘Luke had industry experience and I’m always open to learning from experienced and creative people, so that excited me too,’’ she said.

‘‘The Addams brand was also a big pull for me, having loved the old TV show, and once I’d heard the soundtrack, knew exactly which character I wanted to play.’’

And the best part of her experience so far has been the laughs.

‘‘The cast is made up of hilarious people and we just laugh our way through every rehearsal,’’ she said.

‘‘The show is so funny and I can’t wait to hear the reaction from the audience on opening night.

‘‘I want the audience crying tears of laughter. I want streams rolling down their faces. I want them clutching their stomachs and gasping for air. Because this show is ridiculously entertaining.’’

The Addams Family will be held at the Paramount from May 24 to June 1.

Tickets are on sale at the Paramount.