Maverick Theater's production of "Clue" featuring left to right Tara Pitt, Holly Jeanne, Michael Keeney, Frank Tryon, Jeffrey Johns, Jaycob Hunter. / Photo by Jessica Peralta
Movement is all around on Maverick Theater’s newest production, Clue. The characters seem in constant movement. The dialogue flows like a river. Even the stage is rotating. In such a long, steady dance, does it really matter just whodunit?
The latest production is the theater adaptation of the 1985 film adaptation of the famous American board game, that was, in fact, an adaptation of the 1949 British board game. And if that is confusing, so is the plot. But that’s kind of the point.
One night in 1954, a group of six strangers arrive at a New England mansion in response to an invitation. Wadsworth, the butler and Yvette, the maid greet the guests and quickly give them pseudonyms: Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, Professor Plum, and Miss Scarlet. Soon, a mysterious Mr. Boddy arrives and it is revealed he’s been blackmailing all the guests. When Boddy ends up dead a few minutes later, a screwball comedy ensues.
The now cult film originally came with three different endings, in a kind of homage to the board game.The theater adaptation forgoes that, but does toy with the idea — as an homage to the movie’s homage to the board game. But hey, this is more about fun.
The staging, specifically the use of a periaktos (Google it), is truly inventive, turning a nine-room mansion into one set with rotating walls. Despite the clever device, it allows the ensemble to shine and the plot to twist without distraction.
The cast features a mix of company players as well as Maverick newcomers, but the strength is how they work as an ensemble. That constant flow of people, motives and dialogue demand the kind of teamwork we need in congress, but at least for about 90 minutes we get it beautifully on stage.
Does it matter whodunit? Nope. Will you actually Google what a periaktos is? Probably not. Is “Clue” a fine evening out anyway? You bet your life.
“Clue” Tickets are $15-$30 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays through April 23 Maverick Theater 110 E. Walnut Ave. Fullerton, Calif. (Note: Due to Covid-19, performances might be canceled if a cast member tests positive)