Clue and The Clueless

Even though South Florida has experienced a record amount of rainfall this week, enough to cause substantial flooding, the show must go on. To end the 2023-24 Broadway season, the Broward Center and Broadway Across America presents Clue, a new comedy play based on the beloved Hasbro game and Paramount Pictures movie. The classic whodunnit game comes to life in the best way possible, full of thrills and laughs and murder.

The Au-Rene Theater was eerily transformed into Boddy Manor; the dark mahogany wood depicted a foyer, through dimly lit chandeliers and the occasional flash of lightning. There’s a storm brewing inside the theater, too. Everything has a killer vibe, even the cast. What’s more is that this rocket-quick, razor-sharp play is just one act, roughly equalling an 80 minute runtime. The pressure never felt like it let up.

The Company of the North American tour of CLUE – photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

From the moment the curtain rose, the audience is introduced to every character within the first seven minutes of the show. The butler, Wadsworth (Mark Price), welcomes each patron as they file into the manor for a suspicious reason: they’ve all been summoned by Mr. Boddy (Alex Syiek). Each character, Colonel Mustard (John Tracy Egan), Mr. Green (John Shartzer), Mrs. Scarlet (Michelle Elaine), Professor Plum (Jonathan Spivey), Mrs. Peacock (Joanna Glushak), Mrs. White (Tari Kelly), Yvette the maid (Elisabeth Yancey), and the Cook (Mariah Burks), all embodied their characters perfectly. It’s the only performance I’ve ever seen with no slip-ups, no mistakes, from the cast. This reason alone is enough to catch this show.

The events of the play, however, are so quick that if you aren’t paying close enough attention, you’ll lose thread as to why these characters are interacting with one another at this moment. For example (and a spoiler), after the body of Mr. Boddy is discovered, the troupe split up to find clues and perhaps a murder weapon. Mrs. White and Wadsworth share a scene together where they suspiciously suspect one another of the nefarious dead, while also looking around the manor. Suspicion sows more suspicion, and then the twists become apparent.

The Company of the North American tour of CLUE – photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Clue is ripping fast. There is not much breaks for one to catch their breath, so toot sweet, the actors quickly started to sweat as they entered into Scooby Doo scenes with opening and closing doors, faking running to mimic incredible stage switches, and of course portraying hilarious murders. The cast of Clue cannot be commended enough. In fact, my favorite performances of the night were Egan’s Colonel Mustard and Price’s Wadsworth. Colonel Mustard consistently brought laughs out of my mouth, chuckling at the denseness of his demeanor. Wadsworth is a force to be reckoned with. There’s a point in the show where he recaps the events so far, by himself, and it’s perhaps the most exhausting scene I’ve seen. But he did it flawlessly.

The Company of the North American tour of CLUE – photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

If I were to change something about how this play operates, it would be a slight slowing down. This may be a controversial take, but once the two twists were revealed, the audience loses the sense of mystery because the mystery is solved before it can really feel like it has legs. So, when the cast came out for a final bow, and even that was quick, I stayed in my seat for a few minutes in disbelief. It ended in such a no holds barred manner, just like its opening. I was desperate for one more murder.

Clue is still on at Broward Center. One show was cancelled because of the floods, but they’re back on in full swing!

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