I like live theater. It is always amazing to me to watch local talent completely escape themselves and jump into a different character and entertain us. We happened to sponsor the performance of “The Addams Family” run over at Highlands Lakeside Theatre so it was a must to go see.

Sunday, we caught the matinee and also the last performance. Truth be known, I played a round of golf at Golf Hammock Golf and Country Club early Sunday morning and almost decided I was too hot and tired to go to the theater. But folks, let me tell you right now, I am sure glad I went to the theater that day.

When you think of “The Addams Family,” most often it is in a humorous vein without any message. Not so much in this case. While it was very funny at times, I could not help but to reflect on the message the director was portraying in these characters on this day.

Granted, we all take away different things from entertainment, but I must say that, with everything going on in this world, for a couple of hours I was reminded of the power of love by a tremendous cast. Yes, even odd kind of folks like the Addams Family can send the message of love.

Turbulent “young” love created the path to the end of the show. We probably all know the tale of two strangers wanting to unite and the troubles that come with approval and the uniting of two totally different families. Both characters were scared to trust their families and began making decisions based on that mistrust. Obviously, that could have devastating effects on their newly formed relationship.

All of the sudden you were reminded of sibling love and the effect that change could bring to that relationship as the older sibling is wanting to leave the nest in the natural order of things and the younger sibling faces a fear of lost love and does not react well.

Now comes a tender love when a father’s love for his daughter outweighs anything and everything and how he decides to risk betrayal of his solemn vow to share everything with his wife, simply to grant his daughter’s wish of his silence.

Then there is that family member, who defies all logic and falls in love with the most unreachable, unlikely and never going to happen love. While the family understands his passion, they doubt his will to be with what he loves.

Of course, the other set of parents had their own love issues for one another and the decisions of the son in this new formed love with a girl who has a really “strange” family.

So, you have this wonderful cast of local people portraying characters in what one could only imagine would be a lighthearted look at some scenario of the Addams Family of years past.

Instead, you were mesmerized by a cast of people taking you on a wonderful adventure of love in many forms. There were moments of frivolity and yes we could not stop laughing. All the while the story kept bringing you back to the message. There were moments of pain as old love was tested and you felt their heart breaking.

There were moments of understanding that came only after communication and the strength of both parties connections.

I was utterly fascinated as I watched what felt like four or five scenarios of love unfold on a stage in Highlands County. The performance made you feel like you were part of the cast just sitting at a table on stage somewhere in the middle of it all. The story quickly moved you from scenario after scenario, managing to give you just enough time to capture the message unfolding as you sat there.

Without a doubt, for a couple of hours, this story, the people performing and the message took me away from the never-ending stress of pandemic, elections, and anything negative in my world.

We all know the more negative it is, the more the Addams Family loves it. Oh, the irony of this wonderful performance as it, as if magic, made me feel positive again and reminded me of two things.

First, no matter what, family is family, blood or marriage. Secondly, there is nothing more powerful than love.

One last thing, there are some truly talented people in Highlands County and you can find them on a stage.

Tim Smolarick is vice president and group publisher of D-R Media. He is also publisher of the Highlands News-Sun and Highlands Sun. Email him at tim.smoarlick@highlandsnewssun.com