Theatre Reviews
Photo by Peter Wochniak of ProPhotoSTL courtesy of St. Louis University

St. Louis University Fine and Performing Arts Department’s current project, “Clue: The Musical”, opened Thursday at The Grandel. It is based on the actual board game, Clue, and even features a character displaying the game onstage, in case there is ever any doubt. It opens with the main character Mz. Boddy (nicely gender switched for the SLU production) explaining how we will witness her murder and try to solve it. Three random audience members are then brought on stage to choose from cards representing the potential murderers, weapons and rooms. Each audience member is given a form to use to solve the mystery and Mz. Boddy gives us clues throughout the show. We are introduced to the usual suspects: Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, and Mr. Green, and off we go.

SLU junior Margaret London Kimble is marvelous as Mz. Boddy, our escort for the evening. Her pitch-perfect voice and sardonic delivery set just the right tone for the character. SLU freshman Makaina Woods as Detective, Boddy’s counterpoint, bursts onto the stage in the second “round” with impeccable energy, timing, and wit. Woods duet “Seduction Deduction”, with fellow freshman Jake Allen Olson as Professor Plum, is a delight. SLU junior Karina Widman as Miss Scarlet owns the stage as the leggy showgirl with charisma, beauty, and that special quality that just might someday get her on Broadway!

Music Director and Band Conductor Paul Cereghino runs a tight ship and keeps the show moving well musically. Costumes and Set Design by Lou Bird are just right for this board game theme. Director Carl Overly, Jr. and Choreographer Sara Rae Womack both do a nice job with a small space and a somewhat nonexistent storyline.

Of the original off Broadway production the New York Times said “Making a musical from a board game is the kind of bizarre task that only a genius or a fool would undertake. And there is no sign of genius here.” But for a showcase of talent for the SLU Fine and Performing Arts Department it’s a terrific evening of good fun. And every show has a different killer! What could be better than that?

“Clue: The Musical” at The Grandel runs through April 30th. More information is available at the St. Louis U. Theatre Department web site.

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