During a dark and stormy night, a group of strangers are required to gather in a mysterious mansion under puzzling circumstances. The real reason for the gathering is just one of many twists and turns in this famous dark and comedic murder mystery.
Last year, Ryan Reynolds announced he would star in a new Clue film reboot for 20th Century Studios which, like a lot of reboots, seems unnecessary since the 80’s film Clue is an enduring cult classic. The popular Parker Brothers board game (now owned by Hasbro) has been revamped a number of times as a board game and has been translated into various forms of entertainment including a live Scavenger Hunt and interactive dinner theatre. This is one mystery that people have been anxious to solve for generations. Having seen the 80’s film many times over as well as played the popular board game, this is the first time seeing it done live onstage.
Directed mischievously by Weylin Symes, Greater Boston Stage Company continues Sandy Rustin’s Clue: on Stage live and in person at Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA through June 25. Clue: on Stage is family friendly, but after all, a black comedy murder mystery which has its dark turns. The violence is not gruesome, but like the Parker Brothers board game, probably most appropriate for kids ages 8 and up. This show is 90 minutes with no intermission. Click here for more information and for tickets.
Clue is a great murder mystery farce, but it really takes a cohesive cast led by famous butler Wadsworth to make this production simmer. Recent Elliot Norton Award winner Paul Melendy is just the man for the job not only bringing a unique twist to resourceful Wadsworth, but by fostering a new take on the character as does Bryan Miner as Mr. Body. Tim Curry will always be THE Wadsworth, but Melendy makes this refreshing interpretation his own while keeping Curry’s core characteristics still intact right down to his playful eyebrow lift and smirking grin.
Whether in moments of scheming or over thinking, the cast has compelling chemistry as funny and fascinating adversaries. Genevieve Lefevre makes a mischievous Yvette while Jennifer Ellis is pitch perfect as Miss Scarlet creating a wonderful balance of sophistication and dry humor. Maureen Keiller portrays chatty, nervous, and panicky Miss Peacock. Wearing signature black glasses, Miss Peacock’s character could be interpreted as shrill and abrasive, but Keiller’s distinct comic timing makes Miss Peacock one of the funniest parts of the production.
In a classic mustache, Bill Mootos brings comic wit to somewhat dim witted Colonel Mustard while Mark Linehan as Professor Plum and Stewart Evan Smith as squeamish Mr. Green both bring an enigmatic quality to their characters.
Sara Coombs is a good Mrs. White, but would have liked Mrs. White to be less soft spoken and more humorously cryptic. From stern to silly, Katie Pickett juggles a number of memorable roles as the story unfolds.
Whether in Miss Peacock’s spectacular blue and green glittering dress, Colonel Mustard’s military garb, Miss Scarlet’s vampy red dress, Yvette’s classic French maid costume, Wadsworth’s coat and tails or Mrs. White’s jet black furs, costume designer Deirdre Gerrard creates an elegant and vintage look authentic to each of the character’s iconic personas.
Keeping its vintage 50s charm, Clue on Stage’s set by scenic designer Katy Monthei injects some similarities to the 80s film cult classic from the haunting and soft glow at the iconic mansion’s enigmatic front door to the comical and sophisticated portable set pieces. Lighting designer Jeff Adelberg and sound designer Caroline Eng work overtime to seamlessly and simultaneously up the ante on suspense, humor, and drama through the evolving lighting from foreboding to revealing to flashing to playful while the sound design transforms from sinister to lively to jolly.
The show’s innovative blocking and moving staging is a riot as it cleverly makes the most of every inch of the space with its transformative style and the cast’s ‘athletic’ movements choreographed by Alexander Platt and Cait Zweil.
Sandy Rustin’s fun and comical script is no rehash of the film adaptation, but delivers fresh humor without leaving out some of the iconic quotes and scenes from the 80s film. Revisiting Clue was such an entertaining experience that I would gladly see it again.
Greater Boston Stage Company continues Sandy Rustin’s Clue: on Stage live and in person at Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA through June 25. This show is 90 minutes with no intermission. Click here for more information and for tickets.