Débuting director, Lori Zulliger, does an excellent job in creating a lighthearted and entertaining play that keeps the audience engaged. CLUE: The Musical is straight out of the board game, with the audience being tasked with solving who killed Mr. Boddy (played by Josh Anderson), with what weapon, and in which room.Mr. Boddy and the suspects present evidence throughout Act I, and the audience determines which guest murdered Mr. Boddy with the help of the detective (played by Amanda Heath) in Act II.
The lighting and sound works seamlessly, other than a slight hiccup in the beginning of the production, which was quickly fixed. Pam Kroon conducts the well-composed score while playing the piano. Scott Allred is on cello, and Lene Kennison plays percussion. The lighting and music works well to support the mood of the play and provide necessary cover during the many and sometimes-lengthy scene transitions between rooms.
The acting ranges from good to excellent. Tabitha Bailar steals the show with her performance as Mrs. White. She perfectly embodies the characters quirks and tops off the performance with hilarious minute actions in the background and an amusing accent. She is always busy on stage, being either the industrious housekeeper or the ignorant and uncouth person surrounded by sophisticated people.
The detective enters the play in the beginning of Act II and investigates Mr. Boddys death. Heath, who comes across as a calculating, yet somewhat insecure detective, plays her part very well. She personally investigates all of the suspects, who try to cow, seduce, or elude her. Heath tries to meet their antics with severity, but she occasionally cracks a smile when the actors crack an exceptionally funny line or do something particularly ridiculous.
Anderson preforms well as Mr. Boddy as he leads the storyline through Act I. The characters are introduced and their personal stories and reasons why they would want to see him dead are revealed. He also gives clues and hints to the audience as to who the murderer is. After his murder, Mr. Boddy stays on stage as host of the game and continues to gives out clues. During his entire performance, he keeps the audience engaged and acts well.
CLUE: The Musical runs through March 17, playing at 8 p.m.on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Fred and Sara Machentanz Theatre, 251 W. Swanson Ave., in Wasilla. Tickets may be purchased online at valleyperformingarts.org or by calling 373-0195. They cost $17 for students and seniors and $19 for adults.
Make sure you play the game and record your findings as you attend the play, because any winners among the audience can enter in a drawing to win a copy of the board game version of Clue at the end of the show.