“No Mystery About It, Clue the Musical Is A Good One” — Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers

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CLUE THE MUSICAL has received another stellar review, this time from Paul Gnadt of the Star Group Newspapers. We have reached the final weekend of the show and seats are still available for the last few performances. Come play the game with us and enjoy a fun evening of mischief and whodunit. Read below about the show then call 817-202-0600 or visit www.plaza-theatre.com to reserve your seats.

No mystery about it, Clue the Musical is a good one

Generally, I don’t enjoy musicals when I am unfamiliar with the songs because it takes too much effort to concentrate on the words.

But it’s different with “Clue the Musical,” the Plaza Theatre Company’s current production at the Plaza Theatre in Cleburne, because you’re already in deep-thought mode anyway attempting to solve the whodunit based on the famous board game.

The words to many songs rhyme, so they’re fun to listen to and all are presented by some of PTC’s best singers.

Another reason to concentrate is the people seated around you are whispering among themselves because the audience plays detective, trying to solve the mystery, which is part of the fun but sometimes annoying.

Each playbill contains a “detective notes” sheet to write down clues and determine the killer, which requires sharing information with those seated around you.

Here’s how it works: Three huge cards — suspect, weapon, and location — are selected by audience volunteers at the start of the show and placed in an envelope. The envelope is placed on a mantle in everyone’s view and remains there until the final scene.

The remaining cards are tallied off-stage, and the answer is revealed to the actor playing Mr. Boddy (PTC cofounder G. Aaron Siler) whose subsequent lines depend on knowing the outcome in advance because there are a possible 216 of them.

I am not good at math, but my calculator and I figured out that six possible suspects times six possible murder weapons times six possible locations equals 216.

If you’ve never played the board game, here’s the plot: Six colorfully named and dressed (in costumes designed by Kara Barnes) characters arrive at Boddy Manor with multiple reasons to do away with Mr. Boddy. The suspects are:

• Mrs. White (Joshua Sherman, dressed in white), an overworked, underpaid housekeeper who is being blackmailed by Boddy.

• Mr. Green (Jonathan Metting, dressed in green), a sleazy con man involved with Boddy’s shady business ventures and who has been out conned.

• Mrs. Peacock (Kathy Lemons, dressed in wild colors and feathers), who has recently made Boddy her sixth husband, but prefers being a wealthy widow to a bored housewife. She already has her eye on…

• Colonel Mustard (Jay Lewis, dressed like he just slid off a hot dog), an old flame and retired military man who wants Boddy dead so he can have Mrs. Peacock all to himself.
• Miss Scarlet (Gemma Garcia), a former Las Vegas “performer” who got mixed up in Boddy and Green’s schemes.
• Professor Plum (David Goza) apparently a fundraiser for higher education.Even though he’s the eventual victim, Boddy (Siler) serves as a storyteller, summarizing in song and rhyme the previous scene and cleverly dropping clues along the way.The audience receives crime-solving assistance when the Detective (Stacey Greenawalt King, Nu Yawk accent and all) arrives after intermission. Her timing, energy and voice add spice to the mixture.There are 15 songs (directed by Bree Cockerell), all accompanied by live musicians with Cheri Dee Mega at the piano, and Parker Barrus and David Cole sharing drums.

As usual at the theater-in-the-round Plaza, so common-place it’s almost taken for granted, the set (designed by JaceSon Barrus, constructed by him and Justin Diyer and painted by Julie Lee) is clever and the lighting (designed by Cameron Barrus) is just right. In fact, the lighting must be spot-on perfect in many scenes.

There’s really no mystery about it. “Clue” — the 20th PTC production for Siler and Lewis, making them charter members of the Plaza Theatre Company 20 Club —  is a fun and entertaining night at the theater.

Directed by Dennis Yslas, from a book by Peter Depietro, with music by Galen Blum, Wayne Barker and Vinnie Martucci and lyrics by Tom Chiodo, “Clue the Musical” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 9 at the Plaza Theatre, 111 N. Main St. in Cleburne.

Tickets — $15 for adults, $14 for age 65 and older and high school and college students, and $13 for children age 13 and under — can be purchased online at http://www.plaza-theatre.com, or at the box office from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or by phone at 817-202-0600.

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