Review: Clue the MusicalBy Laura & Mike Clark • Oct 14th, 2005 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Young Peoples’ Theatre performance of Clue the Musical [MP3 5:26 5.2MB].
Mike: It was a really rainy day. The Lazy Susan is a pretty good dinner theatre. It’s a professional theatre location. They do shows every night of the week except Mondays. The problem is, it’s a really old building.
Laura: And the roof is made out of tin.
Mike: So when you have rain like we had last Saturday, you don’t hear a thing.
Mike: So unfortunately, almost the entire first half of the show we couldn’t hear.
Laura: Yes, because none of the children were miked and they’re young enough they don’t project.
Mike: So that was disappointing. We’ve seen other Young People’s Theater shows. It was good. Generally you’re not going to go to a children’s theater presentation unless you know one of the children. We knew several.
Laura: That’s true, we knew several of them.
Mike: But they did a good job. The second act was much better. Partially they had the main detective had a microphone on. That helped a lot.
Laura: It also stopped raining.
Mike: So you put those together and it helped a lot. The basic storyline is the game Clue you played as a child probably. Everyone is walking around the rooms in this spooky house where someone gets murdered and you have to guess who did it, where they did the murder and what they used for the murder. People will show you cards and eventually you figure out, “Oh it was Mr. Plum in the Conservatory with the lead pipe.” And you win the game. So this was a musical of the board game. It was pretty neat. They had different characters of the game. They had Mr. Body who was the poor victim. They had a detective who was not in the game, but they needed that to pull the characters together. At the beginning of the game they had people from the audience come up and draw the three pieces of information randomly.
Laura: So Mr. Body knew who it was and then throughout the afternoon a scenario would play out and he would say, “You don’t have to worry about this character or his weapon ‘cuz neither one of them did it. ” Our program on the back was given each character, the room, and the weapon. And when Mr. Body would say you don’t have to worry about that you’d cross that out.
Mike: The problem with that of course was that the theater was very dark. There were no lights in the back where everyone was supposed to write down their guesses. A few people had flashlights so you’d see these flashes of light around the audience. That was a little distracting.
Laura: Everybody looked in to see who they could cross off.
Mike: And then part way through the first act the rain really kicked in and you couldn’t hear anymore so people stopped because there wasn’t any use to try to guess. But they did end up with a pretty good show. The kids tried their hardest. It was maybe an hour and a half total with one intermission in the middle. It was a musical, these were children age 6 to 15 or 16.
Laura: Actually I think the oldest was 17.
Mike: The older children did better because they were a larger body they could project better. Singing was pretty good. A little uneven again because it was a wide range. Another thing to be aware of in the children’s theater at least at YPT was they had two different casts. So one weekend you had one group of children do the show and the next weekend you have a different group. So I would say if you have children interested in drama that’s something you can look at. Young People’s Theatre in Woodbridge, VA. There are a lot of kids. I don’t even know how many parts there were. There were the six characters, the murderer, I mean the victim, the detective, four pieces. So that’s like 13 parts right there.
Laura: Yes, it was a big cast.
Mike: So it’s a pretty big cast. The Lazy Susan also has a very awkward stage. It’s not real deep. It’s maybe 10 feet deep and it’s the whole length of the room wide, which is really wide. So that was interesting, but they used it well.
Laura: I thought they did a good job of making each area of the stage distinctive. So you knew you were in the Conservatory or you knew you were in the kitchen or you knew you were in the living room or whatever. They were good about making each room distinctive.
Mike: Well, the show has already closed so you don’t need to worry about going to go see Clue the Musical. But if you ever get the chance it was a fun show and I can see an adult cast having a lot of fun with it.
Laura: Yes, me too. And now on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.