The cult-classic 1985 movie Clue has been a favorite of mine since seeing it in the theatres all those years ago. Based on the classic Hasbro board game, this zany slapstick comedy dressed as a murder mystery (or is that murder mystery dressed as a slapstick comedy) has recently been turned into a theatrical experience by Sandy Rustin (based heavily on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn). And we’re in luck, Culver City because right down the road at the Westchester Playhouse is a delightful production of this slapstick murder mystery by the Kentwood Players.
Set just outside of Washington D.C. in 1954, six individuals have been invited to Boddy Manor for an unusual dinner party. Each guest, greeted by the butler Wadsworth (Michael Mullen), has been given a pseudonym for the evening (ones that should be very familiar to you by now): Mr. Green (Ben Billand), Colonel Mustard (Nathan Gebhard), Miss Scarlet (Jennifer Moody Sanchez), Mrs. Peacock (Catherine Rahm), Professor Plum (Sean Spencer), and Mrs. White (Amanda Webb). All are being blackmailed by their host Mr. Boddy (Aidan Petoyan, who also plays the Motorist and Chief of Police). Attending to the party are maid Yvette (Anica Petrovic) and Cook (Kaitlyn Schott – also playing Cop and Singing Telegram Girl). Weapons are distributed and as the body count rises, so do the slapstick antics. The entire cast seems to be having as much fun as the audience as they build to the answers we are all looking for – who is the killer, where did it happen, and with what? (If you’re familiar with the movie’s multiple endings, the play ups the ante in a most delightful way). Special props must be given to Mullen in the Wadsworth role – as the play builds to its zany denouement, he shoulders much of the antics with an energy that is hard to beat.
Director Daniel Kruger makes good use of the brilliantly versatile set, designed by Shawn “Lefty” Plunkett, that even includes a screen atop the stage that helps the audience keep track of which room the action is taking place in. Jon Sparks costume design, Michael Thorpe’s lighting design and Susan Stangl’s sound design all add to a very fun evening of theatre.
Clue, at the Westchester Playhouse through April 9
For tickets, go to kentwoodplayers.org