Campy comedy in ‘Clue’ on tour at the Hippodrome in Baltimore

Fun fact: All the characters are based in Washington, DC, the home of political high jinks.

This show at the Hippodrome — based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn and written by Sandy Rustin — brings to life one of my favorite games I played as a child, the board game Clue. The game itself is British, but this play and all its comedic wit are all American.

The premise of this production is that several suspicious characters come together for an auspicious dinner party where they find themselves surrounded by secrets, intrigue, and of course the occasional murder. What’s a dinner party without a murder? Or two? Or more? And an extra fun fact: All the characters are based in Washington, DC, the home of political high jinks. While some of the moments were campy, it was still very humorous and fun to watch.

The Company of the North American tour of ‘Clue.’ Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Casey Hushion, the director, should feel proud of the product she put out. Everything was what I wanted and more for such an iconic nostalgic childhood memory brought to life. The scenery for Boddy Mansion was flawless. From the flickering chandeliers to the changing rooms and the safe! The scenic designer, Lee Savage, is truly a visionary. From the moody lighting by Ryan O’Gara to the amazing sound work by Jeff Human, this scenery truly wrapped you up and transported you to this 3D version of Clue.

The cast was completely delightful and impeccable. Each one of them gave their characters their own shining moment of hilarity. Wadsworth the butler, performed by Mark Price, was exactly what I needed for this character. The shade he gave had me in stiches throughout this production. Down to the looks he gave, the impersonations, the voices, and the very over-the-top dramatic scene at the end, he gave me life. He should sleep well, knowing that he gave an all-star performance. Michelle Elaine embodied the role of Miss Scarlet to a tee. Her laugh, her quips, her coquettish smile, made her the perfect choice for the role. Honestly, I loved every moment she was on the stage. She was sexy but funny. A hard combination to pull off successfully. John Shartzer, representing Mr. Green: his running through the hallways, no words can explain it. You need to see it to truly enjoy it. Mr. Green is truly the heart of the campiness of this show. But what a great heart to have. Good old Colonel Mustard, portrayed by John Treacy Egan, was a literal delight. This character reminds you of an outdated operating system. Clunky and slow to connect. He took some things quite literal and other things he completely missed. All while maintaining an air of pseudo superiority. Elisabeth Yancey’s Yvette the Maid was entertaining. Sometimes it was a little difficult to understand her through the accent, but her over-the-top antics more than made up for it.

There are a couple of dance/fight scenes that make this added fun. The dance scene between Mrs. White, performed by Tari Kelly, and the butler was tom foolery at its finest. Then the final fight scene was unexpected but made a superb moment. Another one of the choice moments was the Weekend at Bernie’s–style lounge and study party scenes. I choked because I was laughing way too hard. It was so preposterous but well played! And of course, when they “rewound” the scene, I was in complete hysterics!

John Shartzer and Tari Kelly in the North American tour of ‘Clue.’ Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

This comedic version of Clue was well worth the drive into the city. The cast deserves extra kudos for their efforts. Their high caliber of work paid off in making this appear effortless and fun. They appeared to be having a good time, so by default the audience had an amazing time. I couldn’t stop laughing. And I’m glad I didn’t have to.

Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission.

Clue plays through May 12, 2024, at the Hippodrome Theatre’s France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD. Purchase tickets ($47–$172.50) online or call 410.837.7400.

Complete cast and creative credits for the touring company are here.

COVID Safety: Masks are recommended but not required. The Hippodrome’s Health & Safety policy is here.



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