Vertigo Theatre is closing their season on a high note. Clue is based on the 1949 film which is based on the boardgame. It’s a riot as a theatre production, written by Sandy Rustin. This is a powerhouse cast, mostly all of whom have mastered their comedic abilities, making for a really clever production. Throw in a set that never stops moving, and Clue is a much needed break from our lives, a chance to immerse in comedy and fun.
The premise of the show is that the guests have been invited to a dinner party. The English butler Wadsworth (Christopher Hunt) greets all the guests at the door of Boddy Manor just outside of Washington D.C, on a dark and stormy night. In walks Colonel Mustard (Grant Linneberg) who is a bit hard of hearing – this is its own comedy – while Mrs. Peacock (Elinor Holt) has an irritating personality and a nasally voice. The doorbell rings and Miss Scarlet (Vanessa Leticia Jetté) sachets in, unapologetic and proud, while Mr. Green (Tenaj Williams) is a jumpy nervous fellow who is very clumsy. There is also Mrs. White (Katherine Fadum) and Professor Plum (Tyrell Crews) who add incredible physical comedy to the mix along with Yvette (Natasha Strickey), the French maid and the cook (Jamie Konchak). The roles of the police and investigators as well as the owner of Boddy Manor are played by Kaleb Tekeste and Konchak. All of the guests have been invited to the manor because they are all separately being blackmailed for a crime that they all want to keep secret. There is a killer amongst them and to find the murderer they decide to give everyone weapons. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s all part of the fun.
Director Haysam Kadri moves the action at a breakneck speed, even when the cast is acting in reverse. Scott Reid’s set design is a beast that moves and changes around the cast and the cast moves in and out of the walls as they move. Deitra Kalyn’s costume design is specific to every character while keeping to the 1950s. Andrew Blizzard’s sound design and composition gives the whole play the mystery feel with a twist, and Anton De Groot’s lighting design highlights every murder on set.
Clue is a great time, though it does run a little bit long and the jokes get a little bit old. But the talent on stage is immense, most especially Holt, who is a comedic genius. Crews’ physical comedy is also outstanding, and Hunt has a talent for dying a number of different ways. It doesn’t all add up, there are plot points that really don’t make sense, but it’s all part of the magic.`
Vertigo Theatre’s Clue, based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price, is a riot and a comedic triumph. See it for the sheer talent and the innovative set design.
Decide whether is was Colonel Mustard in the parlor with the candlestick for yourself, until June 5th. More information is available online.
Photo: The Cast of Clue, by Tim Nguyen