Review: Everyone's a suspect with The Pollard's murder/mystery musical CLUE

The Pollard's murder mystery romp, CLUE, keeps audiences guessing.

By: Mar. 12, 2023
Review: Everyone's a suspect with The Pollard's murder/mystery musical CLUE
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Part murder-mystery game, part interactive musical, Clue is an exciting night of entertainment for patrons of the Pollard. Director Timothy Stewart and the cast of Clue have created an event that changes from night to night and keeps the audience guessing along the way. Prior to entering the show, audiences scan their tickets and are handed paper and pencil, then are invited to become "detectives" and help solve the murder mystery. This is essentially the objective of the board game CLUE, which the 1997 Off-Broadway show is based on. Familiar characters in the popular game come to life on stage in dazzling, vibrant colors.

Mr. Boddy, played by Pollard artistic director Jared Blount, invites the audience to participate and help solve his murder. Three audience members volunteer to come up and select the winning elements from each of the three categories - perpetrator, location, weapon - and cards are drawn. Mr. Boddy facilitates, and the hostess assists, sealing the night's fate in an envelope marked "CONFIDENTIAL". The envelope stays on stage, so no tampering is possible! It's then up to the audience to solve the mystery, based on the clues given throughout the performance.

As tricky as it sounds, the cast pulls the murder and subsequent investigation off with aplomb and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and furiously scribbling their notes.

Everyone is a suspect in the mysterious mansion of Mr. Boddy, and when he's suddenly killed during his own dinner party, it's anyone's game. Susan Riley is dazzling as Mrs. Peacock, a sparkling vision in turquoise. She has sultry chemistry with Sean Spencer as Colonel Mustard. Peacock has something to gain and much to lose. While Mustard just has his own ego to uphold.

Maddy Mae Billings sizzles as Miss Scarlet, an enigmatic and sly woman in red. Seth Paden is proper and professional as Professor Plum. Elin Bhaird is a sight to see, mischievous and jaded as the housekeeper Mrs. White. Hagen Wano is proud of himself as the slimy Mr. Green.

As always, Jared Blount is a solid performer, entertaining and humorous as the eccentric Mr. Boddy. It's roles like these where Blount shines the most. He's able to perform as a wholly new character, while bringing some of his own charm and quirk to the role. He's simply the best.

Libby McCormack Wano surprises everyone as she transforms from the demure gameshow hostess to the hard-hitting, nursery rhyme-cracking Detective who lets no one off the hook.

Part of the fun is trying to figure out the mystery, but it's of course a voluntary aspect to the show. Patrons can also simply enjoy the fun or keep mental notes of the previous clues! Clues are given only once, and it's harder than it seems initially. Prizes are awarded at the end of the night, and a bit of a standing ovation is given (on the honor system of course) to those who guess all the clues correctly!

Music keeps the action moving at a suspenseful pace. Music direction is by Louise Goldberg, with Mary Catherine Reynolds on bass, Elyse Angelo on drums, Steven Harris on piano 2, and Jason Hunt on bass 2.

This musical must be harder than it looks. With so many moving pieces, it's a game of chance and skill with the highest of stakes. The cast plays their cards right, and the audience is having a mysteriously great time. Clue is another instant classic from The Pollard Theatre Company!

**The Pollard is offering an extra special experience at their Concession Stand for this production. Whodunit chocolate bars are available for $5. The bars include stickers that feature one suspect each inside, and if you purchase one that has the "murderer", you will win a gift card to Rick's Fine Chocolates and Coffees in Guthrie! Even more reason to stock up on snacks as you prepare to solve the night's mystery.

Review: Everyone's a suspect with The Pollard's murder/mystery musical CLUE


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