Review: CLUE at Ridgefield Theater Barn

The stage show runs through February 24, 2024.

By: Feb. 04, 2024
Review: CLUE at Ridgefield Theater Barn

On Saturday, February 3rd, I had the pleasure of seeing a first-rate production of CLUE at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield, CT.  As someone who has been a fan of the board game Clue since 1985, Clue the movie since 1986, and even Clue the VCR game, several years later, I was very excited to see CLUE, the stage show.  The play is by Sandy RustinHunter Foster, and Eric Price, based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn. Under the wonderful direction of David Fritsch, the Ridgefield Theater Barn successfully put on yet another phenomenal production that combines comedy with murder mystery!

For those familiar with the movie, the play sticks closely to the movie, yet contains enough nuances to keep us all intrigued with what will happen or be said next. For those not familiar with the movie, the story involves the six characters from the board game (Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, and Mr. Green) being invited to a mansion on a stormy 1950s night. They are greeted by Wadsworth, the butler, and meet Yvette the maid. The six guests do not know each other and are not totally sure why they have all been invited. It soon is revealed that they are all in some way connected with the government and then made clear, by Wadsworth, that they are all being blackmailed by the same man, Mr. Boddy. Mr. Boddy arrives and threatens to expose all of them, if he is turned in to the police for blackmailing them. After Mr. Boddy gives them gifts, each of which is a lethal weapon (candlestick, knife, wrench, rope, lead pipe, revolver), he tells them that the only way to avoid being exposed is if one of them kills Wadsworth. He then shuts off the lights. When the lights come back on, it is not Wadsworth who appears dead, but Mr. Boddy. From there, the murders and mystery increase.

The set is brilliantly designed by David Fritsch, enhanced by scenic designer and painter Claudia Noel Nerreau and built by Michael Macri and Fred Rueck.  The set consists of multiple moving walls, each with their own back wall, depicting the different rooms, meticulously moved by the cast members, from scene to scene, as if they were turning pages back and forth in a giant book.  The concept is remarkable and totally works for this show, managing to effectively convey the spatial relation between multiple large rooms, all upon the same stage!  The middle house aisle is effectively utilized, as well as voices conveyed from backstage and the lobby.   Thunder and lightning effects also enhance this production.

The entire cast displays incredible talent, as individuals and as a collective group! The precision in movements and dialogue shows excellent teamwork and cooperation among the members of this cast, all of whom have strong stage presence and tight stage chemistry with each other. It is clear that a lot of hard work has been put into this production and the entire cast got to have fun enjoying their roles during this performance. The positive energy they display from the stage radiates across throughout this sold out audience!  

Matt Austin is hilarious in his spirited performance of Wadsworth, the butler, a farcical character who entertains both through words and motions.   Even though this is an ensemble cast, Wadsworth comes across as the lead character.

Lisa Dahlstrom is highly entertaining as Yvette, the French maid, whose words and mannerisms convey a multitude of emotions, with overtones of mysteriousness. 

This stellar cast also includes Matt Regney as Mr. Green, Isabella Bertram as Miss Scarlet, Sam Bass as Professor Plum, Kymberly Smith as Mrs. Peacock, David Michael Tate as Col. Mustard, Ryan Ellen Burbank as Mrs. White, Liz Allen as the Cook, Greg McLaughlin as the Policeman, and Sean Latasa who is multicast as Mr. Boddy, the Motorist, and as the Chief of Police.  All of these cast members bring life to their respective roles and are fun to watch throughout the show.  Whether the cast members tried to imitate the character as shown in the movie or made their portrayal of their characters their own, each decision worked wonderfully for this stage production.

Who else gets murdered?  Who does the murdering?  What are the motivations of the murderers?  What weapons are used to commit the murders?  In what rooms do the murders take place?  How is this all resolved?  Come to the show to find out!

I highly recommend CLUE which is scheduled to continue to run at the Ridgefield Theater Barn through February 24, 2024.  For times and tickets, please click the button below.