Ghost Light Projects
CLUE: The Musical by Peter DePietro

Dates and Venue 20 February - 8 March 2014, Tues - Sat 8pm (Saturday matinees at 2pm) | The Havana Theatre, 1212 Commerical Drive

Reviewer Roger Wayne Eberle

This madcap musical is perfect for anyone who has played the board game ClueTM or for those who like hectic harmonies blended with a good murder mystery. Mr. Boddy (Ryan McDonald) does double duty as the clue-touting emcee and the somewhat less than avuncular victim. After the usual suspects take their various turns at plotting their lurid paths through a plethora of guilty pleasures, Boddy’s body is discovered and the hardboiled Peewee Herman clone of a detective (Meggie McKinnon) appears on the job, sleuthing through suspect after likely suspect.

After an hour of this delicious spectacle, I found that I still had no clue about who the murderer really was: but what a lot of leads! There is a lot to be said about the indomitable energy of Mrs. White (Greg Morris in drag), the maid whose alibi was that she was reading a book about German outdoor recreation called “My Camp.” Equally wonderful to watch and enjoy is the sultry singing, the tell-tale expressions and bodacious body language of Miss Scarlett (Lisa Penz). Then there is that delicious powerhouse of a soprano Mrs. Peacock (Stephanie Liatopoulos) who could easily be guilty of being a modern day Wife of Bath—and of having one of the best voices this side of Havana (and you know how I’m spelling that Cuban delight).

These three female leads are joined by three male leads who are doing all they can to keep up with the “ladies”: Professor Plum (Lawrence Green), manages his songs with that deadpan intonation usually reserved for, well—dead pans; Colonel Mustard (Seth Little), combines forces with the dextrous drama queen herself, Mrs. Peacock in a hilarious twister game segment that they call “The Storming of Normandy.” The laugh lines of this script come fast and furious and they are delivered with a strong sense of comedic timing.

Rounding out the cast of male leads is Mr. Green (Jonathan Pretty), whose suave, yet altogether cavalier characterization lends a kind of stealthily surreptitious smoothness to an otherwise somewhat forgettable role; and then there is the detective with the Horshack voice and the ineluctable nose for detail, minutiae and villainy.

There are places in this thoroughly entertaining musical where the harmonies are not as tight as they should be, but most of the solo work is riveting. There are occasionally awkward pieces of choreography, but the languid lines of some of the more agile characters and the artful guile of the ensemble as a whole are ample compensation for these minor deficiencies.

Director Randie Parliament has done a very good job with this fine piece of musical theatre. He gives out cards to help patrons keep track of clues, but like I said, there are too many leads to follow in a trail that gets hotter and hotter. Trying to solve the mystery is fun, but Clue – the Musical itself is the real culprit here—a guilty pleasure for all to enjoy.

© 2014 Roger Wayne Eberle