Deer Park woman is the brains behind zany ‘Addams Family’ dances
What Danielle Knight really wants to do is direct.
But for now, the Deer Park school counselor, wife and mother is happy to squeeze into her busy schedule the opportunity to choreograph “The Addams Family” musical, which plays through Oct. 26 at Pasadena Little Theatre.
“Doing a show takes time away from your regular duties; so I try to get my little fix in and move on,” said Knight, who plans to submit a show to direct next season.
Until then, her choreography for the 2010 Broadway musical about the “altogether ooky” Addamses “fuels a different passion for me,” she said.
“The choreographer gets to be every character,” she said. “You create movement that is specific to every role.”
Knight, 32, said that singing was her “first love,” then came dancing, followed by acting.
“If I could have pulled it off, I would have sang in the choir and did drill team and theater. I loved all of them,” Knight said. “I started making up dances that my sisters and I performed in the living room, to music in the ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ movies.”
Christmas songs also provided fodder for the performances of Knight and her sisters - Kaysie Singleton Cotton, a former drill team dancer at Deer Park High School, now 30 and living in Georgia, and Ashley Singleton, 26, who lives in Alabama.
Her parents couldn’t afford to send all three girls to dance classes at once; so each took her turn going, then returning home to show her sisters the dances she learned.
At age 19, Knight choreographed “Santa’s Christmas Magic, The Musical” at San Jacinto College.
She’s also choreographed “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Little Shop of Horrors” at the now-closed Stage Door Inc. and “West Side Story” at PLT, where last year she starred as Percy in the heartfelt musical “The Spitfire Grill.”
A bizarre tango
One of the finals numbers in “The Addams Family” is set to “Tango Del Amor,” which resolves a crisis in the marriage of Gomez and Morticia Addams.
“It’s not a full-blown Argentine tango,” she said, explaining that the director wanted it to spread the dancers out more across the stage.
Next year, if she’s selected to direct, Knight plans to cross that challenge off her bucket list, with a show written by Sean Grennan, an American author who blends comedy with touching moments in plays and musical.
Knight, who was president of the theater club at Deer Park High, married James Knight, who had been a varsity football player who was also in the class of 2003.
Their son, Austin, 6, and a dual-language kindergarten student at Laura Bush Elementary School in Pasadena ISD, where Danielle Knight is counselor at Rick Schneider Middle School.
For Halloween, she said, “We generally go trick or treating in our neighborhood, and we have an annual Knight family Halloween party the weekend before Halloween.”
“The Addams Family” began as a macabre, single-panel cartoon drawn by Charles Addams and published in The New Yorker magazine.
Its eccentric family of characters gained national prominence with a TV series and popular movie versions.
The stage version was written as a musical comedy, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.
Lippa was nominated for Best Score at the 2010 Tony Awards.
Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Maines is as freelance writer who can be reached at email@example.com.