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Review: Clue at Allen Theatre, Cleveland Play House

Review By Marissa Defrancesco

No mystery about it , CPH has done it again, Clue is a comedic good time for audience members of all ages. The stage is set from the entrance into the historic Allen Theatre. The atrium is full of tables set with the classic Parker Brothers board game for guests to play prior to the curtain going up. Audience members can partake in a quick round of the shows namesake/ mystery game or even use the interactive touch screens in the lobby to find out what member of the murderous cast they are most like. Once you identify your character you are even given a collectable card to take home. Theatre Travel reviewers Marissa and Laura found out they were in fact were the stubborn Colonel Mustard and forgetful Mrs. Peacock. With such a wonderful atmosphere the show began with high energy.

This 11 person performance runs just under 90 minutes with no intermission. Starting with a clap of thunder and some violent lighting (we do caution viewers that loud effects are used throughout the performance) the stage is quickly set by Wadsworth, the Boddy Manor Butler, played by the talented Mark Price. Price serves as the driving force behind the plot and his performance is energetic,entertaining and thoughtful. With little interlude we are quickly introduced to the very famous cast of characters established from the 1985 cult-favorite film. In succession we meet Yvette, the maid, (Elisabeth Yancey), the cook (Mirah Burks), Colonel Mustard (John Treacy Egan), Mrs. White (Donna English), Mrs. Peacock (Kathy Fitzgerald), Mr. Green (Alex Mandell), Professor Pum (Michael Kostroff) and Miss Scarlet (Elesha Gamble). Shortly after introductions this seemingly polarizing bunch is shuffled by Wadsworth (Price) to a peculiar dinner party sans host. Following this comical dining experience the group is ushered into the parlor for drinks and to be introduced to their mysterious host Mr. Boddy (Graham Stevens) and it is here that the mystery, mayhem and murder insue. It is quickly revealed that the group is being blackmailed for a variety of scandalous reasons. In another flash of lights and a cacophonous skuffle on stage the group's host is eliminated. This sets the scene for a wonderfully blocked journey through the house to find the murder. Discovering the means to Mr. Boddy’s demise leads the cast on a comical and at times jumpy journey that results in more than one person dead.

Full of wonderful transitions, creative blocking and a set that leaves the audience sure they are in an creepy old manor home, trap doors and all, the show carries on at a fast pace with plenty of slap-stick moments. It is clear that director Casey Hushion played on the talents of her cast to create a performance that leaves the audience feeling that they really are in a 1950’s haunted mansion with perhaps the strangest dinner party guests ever. With secrets flying and cast members dropping like flies the performance culminates with an impressive recap monologue from Wadsworth (Price) and a full cast rewind sequence that is done so well it looks like someone has pressed a button on a remote. All in all, Clue is a wonderful time and will have you leaving the theatre smiling and comparing your “who done it thoughts” from the start of the show with the surprising ending. This performance is full of delightful twists and turns and makes for a fun night of theatre for all.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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