Board games are often a big part of people’s formative years with family. We learn who is a sore loser or who can be rather shrewd in the way they navigate the board. And usually, board games give us all quite a few laughs. I believe it was the intention of the Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre’s production of Clue: The Musical to offer those same things and more.
In case one is unfamiliar with the classic Parker Bros. game, Clue sets up a scene with 6 rooms, 6 murder weapons, and 6 suspects who may have killed the unlucky Mr. Boddy. The production asks the audience for volunteers in advance to choose a card from each of the three decks (rooms, weapons, suspects) and Mr. Boddy (played expertly by Ryan J. Poole) places the cards in the famous “CONFIDENTIAL” envelope. This twist changes up the ending with each audience as they are asked to play along.
While the book may not be eligible for winning any prestigious awards, the fact that the audience can play the game while enjoying a theatrical performance does offer a different brand of fun than one usually has while watching a play. One can certainly wish that at least the musical numbers were more memorable or that the script did not feel extremely dated, but most who attend are probably not expecting a life-changing experience.
Production Team for Clue: The Musical
The true stars of the show are the set and the lighting, designed by Brett Bowling and Denny Reed, respectively. In addition, Director Tim Perrino’s use of the entire 2-story space is to be commended. The choices of colour across the expansive set and for each character’s individual washes of light in their own “signature” colour were not only fun, but quite keen. Costumes by designers June Hill and Jesselee Whitson also contribute to the synchronicity of the aesthetic.
As mentioned earlier, Ryan J. Poole shines as Mr. Boddy. As per usual, Mr. Poole’s dialect is perfection and he adeptly takes the helm at the primary actor who must change and add lines on a dime. Applause should also be given to Tyler Gau as Professor Plum. For those who have seen the various characterizations brought to the stage by Mr. Gau, it is no surprise that he is a bright spot in this show. Laughs elicited by these two are most welcome.
Be warned: this isn’t anything like the classic film starring Tim Curry (spoiler alert: there is no Wadsworth at all). However, if you are in the mood for a bit of nostalgia and want the bragging rights of winning the game that has been loved for so long (another spoiler: I won), head on over to the Incline District and get yourself a Clue.
Tickets to Clue: The Musical
Clue: The Musical is presented by Cincinnati Landmark Productions at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre runs though May 14th. Purchase tickets online here or call the box office at (513) 241-6550.