The Chaminade Drama department has always tried to put on above-average shows, whether it was creating and controlling dragon puppets in 2015’s Shrek the Musical, or embellishing the common theater motto “the show must go on” when faced with major last-minute challenges in Sugar this past February. Previously, Chaminade has chosen productions that require a lot of hard work and determination from everyone, and the upcoming performance of Clue the Musical is no exception.
Clue is an interactive musical written by Peter DePietro, based off the beloved board game by the same name. The plot follows six suspects, two detectives, and one man destined for death. With a cast of only thirteen, and a little under two months to rehearse, the actors and actresses have dedicated much of their time to give the audience what they deserve: a night to remember.
The thing that really separates this CCP Drama production from the rest is its interactive factor. Right off the bat, the cast and crew work to include the audience, from interacting with them to giving them the power to change the game. At the beginning, Mr. Boddy (played by Hunter Korando ‘18), the charismatic host and owner of Boddy Manor, selects audience members to pick cards out of a deck. Within these randomly selected cards lies the fate of the cast, with the “who”, the “what”, and the “where,” changing the ending of the show. “Mr. Boddy is the dead man walking,” Hunter Korando explains, referring to his character’s demise. “He is what holds the play together.”
In the show, there are six merry suspects, each with their own motives to eliminate Mr. Body; from crazy Mrs. White (Zellie Laury, Nerinx ‘19) to sly Mr. Green (Garrett Willie ‘20), each character is equally capable of murder. Now what really makes this interactive is that the audience members get to play the game by choosing the cards which decide the fate of the show. Throughout the play, certain clues and hints are given to the audience, giving a glimpse into the audience-chosen “who”, “what’, and “where”. Those with the keenest of senses will pick up on the crumbs, put together pieces, and figure out who ultimately killed Mr. Boddy.
Now, you may be asking “What if someone comes back the next night, can’t they spoil the ending?” And the answer is simply, no, they can’t spoil a thing. This is where things get interesting, and where the audience participation plays the biggest role. Those three cards that are chosen at the beginning of the play have the who, what, and where on them. And every night, different cards are chosen. There is a potential of two hundred and sixteen different finales. And based on those three cards, different aspects of the show change.
The hardest part for the actors and actresses of this production is the constant changing. The actors must know which ending to which scenes to use to be able to key in the audience to the answer. Annie Struckhoff (Cor Jesu ’19) , says that the hardest part is that “we have to be very attentive to what is going on around us, especially since there are different endings. We have to be observant of how the show is going.” One mishap could set the whole ordeal off.
Not only is this show a mystery, it is also a comedy, providing laughs around every corner. Each character has a strong personality, from Colonel Mustard (Chris Schaeffler ‘18) and his old man craziness, to Professor Plum (Vincent Laury ‘20) and his know-it-all and school teacher demeanor, or Mrs. Peacock (Annie Strukchoff, Cor Jesu ‘19) who believes money can buy everything. These characters play off each other is hilarious and surprising ways. We are also given detectives (Danny Kuehl ’19 and Josie Kopff, homeschooled ‘21) who are constantly stepping on each other’s toes whilst trying to figure out the mystery themselves.
For a night of laughs, music, and mystery, I highly recommend coming to watch Chaminade Drama’s production of Clue the Musical. Come find out if your eyes are as keen as you think they are. Can you figure out the who, the what, and the where? Will you be the next great Chaminade Detective? Clue the Musical runs from Thursday, November 30th to Saturday, December 2nd, with night shows at 7 pm each night, and a 2 o’clock showing on Saturday.