subscribe: Posts | Comments

‘Clue: The Musical’ has 216 possible endings


Clue Musical Promo Photo 07For an actor, it’s hard enough learning lines, cues, blocking (where to stand) and where and how to interact with the set and props. But imagine having to learn 216 variations of the same play! That’s the task cheerfully undertaken by the talented cast of Broadway Palm’s upcoming production of Clue: The Musical.

Clue Musical Promo Photo DThe show is based on the 1949 Waddingtons (U.K.) and Parker Brothers (U.S.) murder mystery board game in which up to six players try to figure out who murdered the owner of Boddy Manor. There are six suspects, six potential murder weapons, and nine rooms in Mr. Boddy’s mansion where the heinous crime could have been perpetrated.

For the musical, the number of rooms has been Clue Musical Promo Photo 02pared down to six, but the cast has no idea when the play starts which combination of suspect, murder weapon and room is involved. That’s because the audience determines which of the 216 possible solutions to Mr. Boddy’s murder will be performed, and the cast has to be ready for each one.

Here’s how it works: At the beginning of the show, Mr. Boddy invites three audience members to pick one card from each of three stacks – one representing the suspects; the second, a room Clue Musical Promo Photo 08in the mansion; the third containing the murder weapons. The stage manager looks at the cards, which are then placed in an oversized envelope and sealed.

It’s only then that the cast learns which of the 216 options they’ll be performing.

There is one major difference between the board game and the musical. The latter interjects an attractive tough-as-nails female detective whose job it is to interview the usual suspects. It’s more about motive than opportunity and means.

Boddy’s caught his wife, Mrs. Peacock, having an affair with White 3Colonel Mustard. He’s forcing Mrs. White to work for him to pay off a debt she owes because Boddy once helped her son. Mr. Green and Miss Scarlett were in business with Boddy until he double-crossed them and unceremoniously kicked Miss Scarlett to the curb. Prof. Plum wants Boddy dead because he cheated the professor out of his family fortune. Clearly Boddy deserves his comeuppance, but why in the world would he invite this cast of characters (Mrs. Peacock aside) into his home?

Pretty Clue Musical Promo Photo 10and pretty sarcastic, the Detective drives the action in the second act of the show. But Boddy re-appears to provide his own rhyming clues, which the audience keeps track of on a form the theater provides.

But just when you think you’ve solved the homicide, be prepared for a sudden twist. Anyone could have done the deed, and you won’t know who until the very end.

May 11, 2017.


Comments are closed.