Introducing Chase Benson, the Youngest Star of “The Addams Family” Musical Comedy
You know they’re creepy, kooky, spooky and ooky, but did you know the Addams family can sing? The macabre musical came to Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano recently featuring all your t.v. and big screen favorites: Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday and Pugsley, along with Uncle Fester, Grandma, Lurch, some new friends of the family and some very old ancestors. We had a chance to sit down with the show’s youngest star right before getting in the make-up chair and taking the stage for opening night.
Thirteen-year-old Chase Benson took on the highly coveted role of Pugsley, “The audition process was definitely nerve-racking,” Benson says. “There were a lot of people auditioning for the role of Pugsley, even my best friend. I’m surprised I got the part.” He shouldn’t be surprised though. Not only did Chase have just the right amount of attitude, but he hit a difficult high note perfectly. Audience members sitting around the show’s executive producer, Tom Scott, might have even heard him mutter, “God, he’s good.”
Chase has been acting, singing and dancing off and on since he was young… or shall we say younger, but this was his first time performing at this theater. The Laguna Beach resident tells us he really appreciates that the cast and crew treated him like a person and “not just a kid who can’t really do anything.” He says he would definitely do another show at Camino Real Playhouse, because the people in charge were so professional, “They’re strict if they have to be,” Chase explains. “They give amazing feedback and critiques and honestly everything that they do for the cast is insane. It’s amazing.”
With just about an hour to go before the big debut, we asked Chase how he was feeling. “I’m very excited but also very nervous,” he says. Fortunately, they did a run-through for friends and family the night before and Chase tells us it was “almost flawless.” Chase attributes part of that successful performance to his on-stage dad. Robert Voccola, who played Gomez Addams, sent out an email to everyone before the preview telling them they were going to nail it. Chase says that spread a lot of positivity and made a big difference. Positivity seems to be a recurring theme for Chase. When we asked him what helpful advice he’s been given over the years, he responds with “Stay positive.”
Executive producer, Tom Scott, shared his thoughts with us, “Attending theater gives you pleasure for an evening. Participating in theater gives you pleasure for life!” While Chase is certainly getting pleasure out of performing, he’s actually getting much more than that. “Theater, to me, is almost like an outlet, because I am in advanced classes and things, which builds up a lot of stress and everything, especially because there are multiple projects and 7th grade is basically a living nightmare.” He goes on to say, “It’s a place where I can just act out my emotions, feelings, thoughts and everything and just put it into the theater and it turns it into a whole new thing for me.” Chase says it’s something he looks forward to in a day.
There’s lots for you to look forward to as well. Camino Real Playhouse has been around for 30 seasons and though “The Addams Family” has wrapped, there are plenty more shows planned through the end of the year: “The Graduate,” “Peter and the Star Catcher,” “Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile,” “Sherlock Holmes: Here There Be Dragons” and rounding out 2019 is the beloved “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.”
No word on what Chase’s next performance will be, but we asked the seventh grader for some insight into his long-term plan 10 years from now. Along with pursuing his dreams in the arts, he says, “I’m really looking to go to college for some type of Ph.D. in law.” Perhaps a role in “12 Angry Men” might be in his future, in which he can combine his two passions. Either way, the Benson family will support him. And they’re a lot less strange and deranged than Chase’s theatrical Addams family!
Camino Real Playhouse is located in the heart of Downtown San Juan Capistrano and features multiple stages. The theater offers various classes, special events and more. For information on purchasing tickets, auditioning for a show or getting involved in other ways, go to CaminoRealPlayHouse.Org
(Breakout Box – Please center the list of classes down to the two websites. Group photo attached.)
Ever thought about getting up on stage, telling jokes and making people laugh? The Camino Real Playhouse offers Students of Stand-up workshops, which culminate in a graduation showcase. Instructor Tom Riehl says the classes are “way cheaper than therapy and a lot more fun!”
STAND-UP COMEDY 101
7/31/19 – 9/4/19
STAND-UP COMEDY WRITER’S WORKSHOP
7/30/19 – 9/3/19
STAND-UP 4 KIDS (AGES 9-16)
7/30/19 – 9/3/19
For more information on taking classes or attending the monthly comedy shows, go to: