BWW Interview: Donny Riedel of CLUE at The Ringwald Theatre says It's a Fast-Paced, Hilarious Show that Hits All the Senses!
Whodunit? The Ringwald. In the fall. With the candlestick. Clue, the 1985 cult classic comedy, is currently running through November 5th at the theatre in Ferndale. Jonathan Lynn, director and screenwriter of beloved comedy, personally created this stage adaption with additional material by Hunter Foster, Eric Price, and Sandy Rustin so fans of the film will be happy to know that the clever and quotable wordplay remains largely intact with brand-new twists and tricks! BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Donny Riedel who plays Wadsworth in show about comedic play, his character, and why audiences will have an amazing experience at Clue.
BroadwayWorld Detroit: Can you give our readers a brief background of yourself and then your theatre career as an introduction?
Donny Riedel: I am originally from Chelsea, MI and I earned my BFA in Digital Cinema from Northern Michigan University. I didn't start performing until after I graduated college when I decided to take improv classes at GO! Comedy Improv Theatre in Ferndale. After working really hard for a few years, I am now a Resident Artist at GO! and get to perform sketch and improv comedy there regularly. I am also on the house improv team at Pointless Brewery in Ann Arbor. Recently, I have been in The Rocky Horror Show at The Ringwald Theatre as Riff Raff and Appropriate at the Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck as Frank/Franz.
BWW Detroit: How would you describe Clue in your own words?
Donny Riedel: Clue is an ensemble comedy where a bunch of morally corrupt people, and a few perfectly normal people, gather together in order to showcase their idiocy while trying to solve a few murders. Of course, things go wrong and it's all so terrifically funny to watch. There are sight gags, wordplay, an abundance of physical comedy, and some pretty great dancing.
BWW Detroit: How does the stage show of Clue differ from the movie of Clue?
Donny Riedel: I think the stage show of Clue differs from the movie version of Clue in the same way that theatre differs from film. These characters get to be much larger in personality when on a live stage. It is a bit magical to watch, because our tiny Ringwald stage gets to be super intricate and refined when compared to an expansive movie set. Honestly the play and the movie don't differ too much, especially with our cast and director having such a special affinity for the movie. We've taken care to keep the spirit and gags of the movie alive and thriving. Don't forget the dancing though - there's way more dancing in the stage show.
BWW Detroit: How would you describe your character, Wadsworth?
Donny Riedel: Wadsworth is a decently nice butler who is fine watching idiots be idiots so long as he isn't thrown directly into their mix. While he loves to serve, he also prefers to keep a respectful emotional distance from those he serves. He's definitely a bit of a gregarious loner. He struggles internally with associating with and serving his clients vs. keeping himself safe and taking things in from a distance. His personal affairs are his to keep, so don't bother trying to get to know him too well. He sure likes knowing your secrets though!
BWW Detroit: Do you see any similarities between Wadsworth and yourself?
Donny Riedel: I absolutely see a few similarities between Wadsworth and myself. We're both mostly nice and try to be accommodating, but when things go wrong, we can tend to be a little excitable. We both think watches are cool and probably care a little too much about our hair.
BWW Detroit: Do you have special pre-show or post-show rituals that you do?
Donny Riedel: My pre-show ritual is usually to take a nap and drink a bunch of water. I try not to eat too much because food makes me tired. I keep some personal good luck charms on my person - a necklace and a little rock. Post-show, I like to sleep as well. Really anytime I can sleep is pretty fun for me!
BWW Detroit: Can we expect the usual Ringwald twist, without giving away too many secrets?
Donny Riedel: If by usual Ringwald twist, you mean an unparalleled understanding of camp, then absolutely. The director, Bryan Lark really understands this show tonally.
BWW Detroit: What makes The Ringwald's production of Clue special?
Donny Riedel: This Ringwald production absolutely reeks of Ringwald charm. Most explicitly, Joe Bailey as Mrs. Peacock is something I'm very jealous of audience members for having a chance to watch. A tiny part of me wishes I could take a night or two off from the show to watch the entire Ringwald cast be as they are in this show. Comedic acting is so instinctual with this cast. They all really, really know what they're doing and what it means to be the right kind of funny. Expect a clever set as well. I think it's really creative and fun. The size and format of this theatre will give the audience a most intimate and involved experience that they won't get anywhere else.
BWW Detroit: Why should people come see Clue?
Donny Riedel: People should come see Clue at The Ringwald because this show will engage them so much - it's fast-paced, hilarious, curious, and fun. This show hits all the senses. The individual performances in this show are such that it might be necessary to come see it several times just to find all the jokes. As the plot of the show is a mystery, our production of it is ready to be unpacked and closely examined. There is so much to be excited about. This show will be something you'll think about and look back fondly on for quite a while!
Clue is currently running until November 5th at The Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale. For more information or tickets, visit www.TheRingwald.com.
Connect with Donny Riedel on facebok.com/donny.riedel.