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Everyone’s looking at Sami Doherty’s Detective in ‘Clue the Musical’


Clue Musical Promo Photo FOn stage now through June 24 on the main stage of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is Clue the Musical. If you’re familiar with the board game, you’re in for a couple of surprises. The dead guy, Mr. Boddy, doesn’t die until the end of the first act. And there’s a detective who comes on the scene in Act Two Clue Musical Promo Photo Dto help the audience solve the crime.

Local talent Sami Doherty is the Detective, who looks every bit like a formidable Samantha Spade when the house lights dim and the stage lights come up to signal the resumption of the play. Soon after, she delivers one of her funnier lines after looking over the usual suspects. “Who did your wardrobe, Crayola?” A spirited back and forth takes flight from there.

Clue Musical Promo Photo CKeeping it real, there’s no plot in this musical, and not much characterization either. But the Detective, at least, provides Ms. Doherty with the challenge of feigning uber self-confidence when, in fact, she is a basket of insecurities and self-doubt. In the Detective’s case, every time the suspects listen raptly as she pieces together some crucial pieces of evidence or makes some pithy observation, Clue Musical Promo Photo 02she looks around with a look of horror and blurts, “Why is everyone looking at me?” as she runs out of the room.

But there are more important reasons Clue’s six suspects find it hard to take the Detective seriously. Oh, sure, they know there’s no detective in the Parker Brothers board game and she belongs more in Sorry than in Clue, but it’s her proclivity for reciting fragments of nursery rhymes at the most inopportune times.

Sami 05But those familiar with Doherty’s work know that on top of her acting skills, she is an incredible dancer, and she doesn’t disappoint in Clue the Musical. When Professor Plum (played by Troy Bruchwalski) flirts with her in an unsuccessful attempt to keep her from suspecting him as Boddy’s murderer, they resort to a dramatic Spanish two-step that would have the ten paddles coming out on Dancing with the Stars. But there is a small problem. The male in a Paso Doble unleashes his inner matador, using his partner as a cape in a simulated bullfight. But the good Sami 09professor is no torero, picador or banderillero. “Only a wimp tries to seduce a woman by quoting Thoreau,” the Detective tells him after their “Seduction/Deduction” dance number, in which Doherty really shines.

Doherty last appeared on the Broadway Palm main stage in Yeston & Kopit’s Phantom, where she played the roles of Florence and Belladova, the Phantom’s tragic mother. Prior to that, she turned in a scintillating performance as Dogface Haynes’ little sister, Judy, in Irving Berlin’s White White Christmas 082Christmas.

Doherty is a familiar face in Southwest Florida. Not only does she perform on an almost continual basis on the main stage at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre (where she is also employed as dance captain and sometime choreographer), she is co-owner and an instructor at Melody Lane Performing Arts Center, which will be opening soon in Cape Coral. Other recent performing credits include Anything Goes, Evita, The Wizard of Oz, Sister Sami Doherty 103Act, Show Boat, Footloose, West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Les Miserables, Shrek, Into the Woods (as Repunzel), A Wonderful Life (as Violet) and CATS (as Jennyanydots). But it was after she appeared as part of the ensemble in Cinderella in 2013 that she took her acting career to a whole new Sami Doherty 104level.

Sami’s mom claims her daughter was “born singing and dancing.” Doherty told the News-Press last September that at the age of six, she could already recite every line from Hello Dolly and My Fair Lady. “I watched anything with Gene Kelly in it,” she said at that time.

Sami Doherty 102That was also the year Sami’s family moved from San Francisco to Southwest Florida.

A year later, the seven-year-old began taking dance lessons, moving from a small to a larger studio so that she could engage in competitive dancing – all while simultaneously performing in award-winning show choirs, musicals, plays, the national award-winning Sami Doherty 101TAG a cappella group, and attending as many master classes and conventions as possible. She also began choreographing high school musicals from the time she turned 12.

Doherty studied vocals at Cypress Lake High School before going on to earn her degree in 2011 from the Florida State University School of Theatre. But she always took the summers off during college Sami 01so that she could return home to perform at Broadway Palm. She was also a member of the Flying High Circus (triple trapeze, bike, balancing, etc.) and their troupe choreographer.

Sami is also an accomplished costume designer, film actress, and instructor. Teaching is her “other passion.” In addition to any and all forms of dance, she teaches vocals and acting, from the audition through the onstage and the backstage/technical experience. She is seen weekly teaching everything from ballet/tap/tumble to toddlers to Pointe for high schoolers. Her students often include other professional performers who drop in to her Clue Musical Promo Photo Aclasses while appearing in town to attend her “boot camps.” As Broadway Palm’s dance captain, it is Doherty’s responsibility to keep the show ship shape after tech week and the show’s opening.

May 21, 2017.


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