Cleveland Play House’s “Clue” is simply “pun-terrific”
Based on the Paramount Pictures film of the same name by Jonathan Lynn, written by Sandy Rustin with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price and (lastly) based on the Hasbro board game, Cleveland Play House introduces Clue the play, not to be confused with Clue – The Musical. The show is directed by Casey Hushion.
It’s a dark and stormy night as six strangers who have received a letter summoning them to Bodddy Mansion show up at the forbidding front doors where they meet Wadsworth, the butler (Mark Price), Yvette (Elisabeth A. Yancey) the sexy french maid, The Cook (Mariah Burks) and later Mr. Boddy (Graham Stevens). Each guest has one thing in common. They all reside and work in Washington DC and each one has a deep dark secret that they will pay dearly to not be revealed.
When bodies begin stacking up like cod fish on a fisherman’s pier suspicions run rampant as the survivors try to solve who the actual murderer can be. Is it Colonel Mustard (John Treacy Egan) with the wrench? Is it Mrs. White (Donna English) with the rope? Is it Mrs. Peacock (Kathy Fitzgerald) with the Dagger? Is it Mr. Green (Alex Mandell) with the lead pipe? Is it Professor Plum (Michael Kostroff) with the revolver? Is it Miss Scarlet (Eleasha Gamble) with the candle stick?
Who knows? Who cares? It’s all in good fun in this fast moving mad cap comedic farce with an amazing stage set that flows in and out of view like magic. The cast is nimble and fleet of foot as they scurry about the mansion trying to solve the murders while avoiding being killed themselves. There are groanables at every turn skewering all manner of politics, love and murder. You will need to be on your toes to catch all of the double entendres that come spilling out in rapid succession.
As for the cast, they are a finely meshed ensemble who know how to play off each other for the best results. Everything is exaggerated and colorful from very heavily accented costumes to the speech patterns. While there is some naughtiness hinted at there is no course language or overtly adult type themes to be found. Older children (high school and up) will appreciate the zaniness of the show.
While it is difficult to point to any single person since they are all fantastic in their roles a special nod goes to Kathy Fitzgerald as Mrs. Peacock, John Treacy Egan as Colonel Mustard and Mark Price as the butler for his hilariously drawn out death scene.
When’s the last time you had a really good laugh? Say no more and come see the lightning quick barbs being flung about in the Cleveland Play House production of Clue now showing in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square. It will leave you guessing and laughing at the same time.
Clue runs through February 23, 2020 in the Allen Theatre at Play House Square. For tickets and information visit www.playhousesquare.org or www.clevelandplayhouse.com or call (216) 241-6000.