North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre’s energetic encore presentation of its 2006 community-theater production of Clue: The Musical, the 1997 Off-Broadway hit based on the perennially popular Parker Brothers board game, has a built-in audience that will no doubt be delighted with the various twists and turns that this head-scratching interactive whodunit takes on the way to the final curtain.
Before the NRACT cast can commence sinking their teeth into their juicy roles, three members of the audience come onstage to help pick the murderer, the murder weapon, and the room where the murder takes place. So, each performance is different — there are 216 possible endings — and the show’s program doubles as a scorecard to help the audience identify the correct suspect, weapon, and room, along with Mr. Boddy (played by tall and lanky Jordan Long), who is the musical’s genial host and narrator (even after he is murdered!), and a willowy blonde trench-coated Detective (Ashley-Nicole Lewis), who combines beauty and brains and brings a hardnosed attitude to this game of deduction.
The six suspects in Mr. Boddy’s murder include his slinky new wife, the wealthy and much-widowed socialite Mrs. Peacock (Romni Rossi); the cocky former military man Colonel Mustard (Mike Anderson); the pedantic academic and ghost writer Professor Plum (Andy Miller); the vengeful Las Vegas chorine Miss Scarlet (Mary Beth Hoots); the conman Mr. Green (Daniel Spenser), who is Mr. Boddy’s business partner; and Mr. Boddy’s disgruntled cook and housekeeper and jill-of-all-trades Mrs. White (Jessica Smith). From time to time, the shadow of suspicion may also fall upon musical director and pianist Carolyn Colquitt, percussionist Elliotte Lawling, and The Dice (Allison and Macy Borter).
To say much more would spoil the fun, but Romni Rossi’s flirtatious antics as Peacock Enterprises CEO and Mr. Boddy’s wayward wife Mrs. Peacock, Mike Anderson’s strutting and fretting as Colonel Mustard, Andy Miller’s fuming as the put-upon Professor Plum, Mary Beth Hoots’ simmering as Miss Scarlet, Daniel Spenser’s scheming as Mr. Green, and Jessica Smith’s smoldering resentments as Mrs. White all deserve special mention, and so do Jordan Long and Ashley-Nicole Lewis’ performances as Clue: The Musical host and narrator-turned-murder victim and the glamorous gumshoe who unexpectedly shows up, just in time to solve the crime — and confirm or refute the reasoning of audience members who are playing this murder game as the evening unfolds.
SECOND OPINION: To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the Oct. 21st Triangle Theater Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2010/10/clue-the-musical-transforms-the-popular-board-game-into-an-interactive-whodunit-with-216-possible-endings/.
North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre presents CLUE: THE MUSICAL at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 and 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at NRACT, in the Greystone Village Shopping Center, 7713-51 Lead Mine Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27615.
TICKETS: $15 Friday and Saturday ($12 students and seniors 62+) and $10 Sunday.
BOX OFFICE: 919/866-0228 or http://www.etix.com/.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/866-0228.
SHOW: http://www.nract.org/2010/09/07/clue-musical/. SEASON: http://www.nract.org/shows/.
The Musical: http://www.cluethemusical.com/ (official website) and http://www.lortel.org/LLA_archive/index.cfm?search_by=show&title=Clue: The Musical (Internet Off-Broadway Database).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.