”CLUE The Musical” Part Mystery, Part Song and All Laughs at the Pollard Theatre
What a fright! There is murder in the air tonight. A classic Whodunit is in order. Who will die? Who will cause the death? What weapon will be used? In what room will the murder occur? These are the questions one has when settling down with a good mystery novel. Or, in playing the classic Parker Brothers’ Game. The show has a detective form within the program allowing patrons to play the game as it progresses in the show, or, one can simply sit back and enjoy the show as the players on stage solve the mystery. Some folk find musicals somewhat ridiculous as a song seems somewhat flighty under the circumstances, and in “CLUE The Musical” the situation told in song is a little far-fetched. This ensemble capitalizes on each event in comedy bringing the preposterous situation forward with singular song. The play becomes very enjoyable with the characters using vocals as a tool expressing individual idiosyncrasy. The actors also allow their characters to reveal characterizations that are familiar, forthright and fabulously funny.
Leading the cast is Pollards Artistic Director, Jared Blount. He is Mr. Boddy–the intended victim. Boddy is a little irritating and a likely personality to inspire murder. He is the millionaire/billionaire who has invited the suspects to his mysterious murder game. Mr. Boddy serves as narrator throughout the show.
Next we have six dinner guests who slowly realize that they are in a game and playing for keeps. Susan Riley is the flamboyant Mrs. Peacock, Seth Paden is the nervous Professor Plum, Maddy Mae Billings vamps as Miss Scarlet and Sean Spencer commands as Colonel Mustard. Hagen Wano as Mr. Green lounges with studied insolence and Elin Bhaird as the housekeeper, Mrs. White, thoroughly cleans wherever she can eavesdrop and have a nip. And of course Libby McCormack Wano is perfect as the hardboiled trenchcoated detective.
The ensemble of actors is tight-they have excellent rapport as well as genuinely natural timing in their delivery. Each of them develops their slightly peculiar characters with humor, willing to poke fun at themselves and the result is a perpetually amusing and allowing the audience to participate in solving the mystery as they wish.
Stewart’s direction takes advantage of the wit in the book by Peter DePietro and lyrics by Tom Chiodo. The music is by Galen Blum, Wayne Barker & Vinnie Martucci and the play is based on the Parker Brothers’ that providing lots of entertainment to families over the years. The production boasts an excellent concept in the set by Michael Long creating the perfect environment for the actors. The property design is handled by Stewart and Jessa Schinske with costumes by Michael Skeene. Michael Long also designs the lighting while Jared Blount handles the sound under the guidance of Stewart and production stage manager Courtney Woodhams. This presentation of “CLUE The Musical” is by Dr. Jim and Theresa Dewhurst and they certainly have the right combination of technical talent alongside the performance talent. After the show one may notice a big grin on the face of every patron and one may catch a glimpse of grin on Timothy Stewart as this must have been a fun show to direct. Musical direction is from Louise Goldberg, also on piano with Mary Catherine Reynolds on Bass, Elyse Angelo on drums, Steven Harris on 2nd Piano and Jason Hunt, 2nd Bass. Their intelligent accompaniment adds luster to the production.
Pencils are provided for those who wish to keep track of the action and play the game along with the show for an evening of fun family entertainment. So grab a jacket, a sense of fun, a favorite friend and visit Guthrie, Oklahoma.
“CLUE The Musical” runs March 25 through April 1, 2023. The Pollard Theatre is located at 120 W. Harrison Avenue in Guthrie, Oklahoma and tickets and information are available at www.thepollard.org. or call (405) 282-2800. Curtain is 8:00 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a 2:00 pm Sunday matinee.