Marcellus gets “Clue”

BJ Menter 11/07/06More articles
Hats off to Marcellus Drama Club for their recent production of “Clue” on Friday Nov. 3 and 4 at Marcellus High School.
Director Mary Holmes and her cast did a credible job not only in the choice of this particular play, but also in their performance.

Of course, “Clue” is based on the popular board game. Originally developed in Britain in 1948, “Clue” has been a family staple of entertainment ever since. With its over the top characters and Victorian influence, the game itself is a precursor to the modern day mystery novel.

Besides being a play, “Clue” was a 1985 movie starring Tim Curry, Martin Mull and Lesley Ann Warren. It also had a short run of 200 performances as an off Broadway musical back in 1997. The movie had three possible endings and the musical over 200, but the play presented by the young thespians of Marcellus had only one ending…or did it?

The play itself is designed to be viewed as one would the game itself. After all, when was solving who did it (Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, the butler) in the where – parlor, kitchen, library, with what – knife, poison, or candlestick – not a fun romp to while away a rainy afternoon with friends? The key, of course, to making this production an out-and-out farcical romp is to watch the fast build up to the inevitable dénouement as things fall into place as they fall apart. The question as to who killed Mr. Body becomes less the riddle to be solved then who didn’t kill somebody.

As Wadsworth, the butler, Jack Nolan played the role with a suave, slightly oily manner, reminiscent of Tim Curry who held the role in the movie. Brandon Martin as slightly fey Colonel Mustard showed off some moments of good comic timing. Maryellen Dance was priceless as the ditzy Mrs. Peacock. Bridget Dunn, Kate Ellen Dean and Heather Hart, filled their roles as Mrs. White, Mrs. Green and slinky Miss Scarlet adequately. A word of advice to all the actors during ‘moments of excitement’ all cast members had a tendency to lose control and their voices became quite shrill. While natural at this stage in their development, it is to be hoped that voice control can be made an integral part of their training for other plays.

Chris Shoff as Professor Plum gave an intriguing performance and one could see the development of a shy character to mad professor via his control over his lanky body and the way he turned it into a physical question mark. It would be quite interesting to see Shoff play “Dracula” because he certainly has a good sense of body movement as demonstrated in this play.

Worthy of special note is Kate Collier who played the Cook – the dead Cook – and was subject to being dragged and tossed around by the rest of the cast for almost the entire length of the play. She and Claire Britt as the Singing Telegram Girl, and Michael Kolis as the Motorist, and Dan Poorman as the Cop, proved that there is no such thing as a small role.

The Marcellus Drama Club, both cast and crew demonstrated that considerable talent roams the academic halls of Marcellus High. The community is encouraged to support these efforts by turning off the television and going to see them at their next theatrical venture.

Rating: 2.0/5 (10 votes cast)

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