If you know me, you know that I idolize The Addams Family. When I heard The Addams Family Musical was coming to The Academy of Music I jumped for joy.
I haven’t seen the musical yet… but anything to do with my favorite gaggle of goths has to be amazing. To top things off, I was able to sit down and talk to one of the cast members of this awesome show.
What’s better than that? She’s local!
Yes, Chloe Davis is a local dancer who graduated from Temple’s MTHM program. The Addams Family is her musical theater debut! I asked her a few questions about her experience and her love of all things Philadelphia.
I see this is your debut into musical theater. Congrats! What kinds of challenges have you faced with this production as opposed to your previous work with The Philadelphia Dance Company?
I am excited to say that The Addams Family is my debut into musical theater. And thank you very much for the big congratulations.
I could not have asked for a better introduction to musical theater, as the one I received, with The Addams Family. It is an original musical comedy that is hilarious and an overall good time. Each performance, I enter the corky, ghoulish, bizarre, yet fun-loving world of the Addams. In addition, I have had the opportunity to work with a creative team filled with iconic figures on Broadway such as director, Jerry Zaks; lyrist, Andrew Lippa; and choreographer, Sergio Trujillo.
This is a national and international tour and traveling is my #1 favorite thing to do! Friends from my previous dance company, The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), which is based in West Philly, call me “Dora The Explorer,” so this new career change is well suited for my personality.
However, there is quite a difference from shifting to musical theater from a concert dancer’s background. Being a principal dancer with Philadanco, one would think that musical theater would be an easy transition. But, that is quite the contrary. It is challenging to add the new component like singing into the equation! The combination of singing and dancing is a whole new language and a new breathing style. You have to learn how to merge and balance the two arts. And when you do it successfully, you get something extraordinary. I feel like I am finally easing into learning how to do both arts simultaneously and it feels good to accomplish that obstacle.
You received your MTHM from Temple University. Tell me how Philadelphia has helped you to hone in your craft, and who you’d like to thank for helping you become the performer that you are today.
I came to Philadelphia to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional dancer with Philadanco. However, I was awarded a scholarship from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to pursue my dream of receiving my masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management (MTHM) from Temple University.
The second year pursuing my degree, I became a member of Philadanco. I was then charged with the decision to choose one dream over the other. However, the Artist Director of Philadanco, Joan Brown insisted that I continue my degree. She assured me that the company would support me and excuse me from performances if need be. My professors at Temple University were also extremely supportive and allowed non-traditional class attendance through online portals. More so, Jeffery Montague, Assistant Dean, believed that I was both talented and dedicated enough to accomplish both goals.
In May 2007, I accomplished both dreams and received my masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management and was a proud member of The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). I have had a great support system from both the faculty and staff of Temple University and the artistic staff and company members of Philadanco. Each entity allowed flexibility within their institution/organizations to help me hone my crafts respectively and I am very appreciative.
I would also like to thank Philly 360 for taking interest in my career accomplishments and nominating me as a Philly 360 Cultural Ambassador to the City of Philadelphia.
Are you a fan of “The Addams Family” itself? How does it feel to see these beloved characters go to the Broadway Stage?
Yes, I am a big fan of The Addams Family. I appreciate the “un-normal.” But most of all, I enjoy the beloved Addams Family’s wit and humor. This musical comedy reveals each characters personality through song and dance.
For example, Gomez is classic comedy, Morticia and her lovely daughter, Wednesday are dry and sarcastic comedians, and Fester is simply charming and lovable. It feels great to see each characters personality pop out through their musical style and dance choreography.
Tell us a little about your character(s) and what we can expect from you.
I play the part of the Indian Ancestor. She is one of the ten ancestors of The Addams Family. The ancestors help drive the storyline and bring pure entertainment with their songs and dances. I also do puppetry in the show. This production is full of fun and surprises, so everyone should just expect to have a good time.
Behind the scenes, I hold the position as the Dance Captain. As Dance Captain, I am responsible for maintaining the artistic standards of all choreography and musical staging. In addition, I rehearse the understudy actors to make sure they are ready to perform at any moment. Also, in case of any emergency, I must make appropriate changes to the show to ensure safety, originality, and overall success.
What else have you been up to in the city of brother love? How can Geekadelphian’s find you and the other work that you do?
I LOVE the city of Philadelphia. It is my second home next to my original birth place of St. Louis. Philly is filled with a great outlet for the arts! I have performed and worked with great Philadelphia choreographers such as Rennie Harris, Jeanne Ruddy, Tania Isaac, Tommy Waheed Evens, and Dawn Marie Bazemore.
Also, I made my first big movie debut in Silver Linings Playbook, shot in Center City! My favorite cheese steak is from Jim’s Steaks on South Street. And my favorite cupcakes are Brown Betty’s in Northern Liberties.
If you ever want to follow the The Addams Family Tour, visit www.tafontour.com.
Also, you can visit the following youtube links to learn a little more about me!
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This has been a wonderful opportunity to tour with The Addams Family show. It is so exciting and fun!