|Review of Clue the Musical - Games Magazine, August 1996|
Titled, "Shady Undertakings", this article appeared in the Gamebits section of Games Magazine.
The article was written by Michele Reis and edited by Mark Danna. The text reads:|
Then get to Clue, The Musical. This clever adaptation of the Parker Brothers board game opened to rave reviews. Presented by the Manhattan Repertory Company of New York City, Clue, The Musical has come a long way since it surfaced at the World Clue Championship (“Boddy English,” Gamebits, April 1994). That early version couldn’t hold a candlestick to this latest. The script and lyrics are tighter, a new set has been designed, and the ensemble cast is a lead pipe cinch to rope in Clue fans and musical and/or mystery buffs.
The whodunit centers on the murder of Mr. Boddy as perpetrated by the usual but unusual suspects: Miss Scarlet, an ex Vegas Showgirl; Colonel Mustard a picaresque legionnaire; Professor Plum, a priggish scholar; the oft-married and oft-widowed Mrs. Peacock; Mr. Green, a lovable combination of Archie Bunker and Mack the Knife; and Mrs. White, Boddy’s disgruntled, libidinous pistol of a housekeeper. It takes an almost all-business lady detective to solve the mystery.
The vivid costumes help bring characters to life. The pun-filled songs range from Latin rhythms to wrenching ballads to toe-tapping ditties. And spatial puzzle lovers will adore the simple set: Six cubed columns, painted differently on each side, are juxtaposed and maneuvered to create each room in the mansion.
There’s also audience participation. In the opening scene, one audience member picks randomly from large sets of cards to choose, as in the game, the person, weapon, and room of the murder. When the choice is revealed near the end, the culprit, whoever it is that time, sings his or her “confession.” The script, however, adds a final surprise.
Clue, The Musical runs till the end of the year at Chicago’s Organic Threatre (phone (312) 902-1500). Meanwhile, lyricist Tom Chiodo gives us the exclusive scoop: He’s now devising a play based on crosswords.