Get a CLUE: A Review of The Fall Play


Photo by: Mariam Tafwed

On Nov 19 and 20, Potomac Falls drama performed CLUE for their first official in-person audience in two years.

Bright lights, long lines, proud parents, and an excited cast all were a part of opening night for the cast and crew of CLUE. Months of preparation with casting calls, practice, and dress rehearsals awaited for the first performance of the drama department’s fall play. Last year’s spring musical, High School Musical, had one opportunity for seeing the musical in-person which was mainly reserved for families of actors. With COVID rates still being high, there was a 50 person limit in the auditorium. CLUE had all in-person audiences for all of three of their shows and no online audiences. 

CLUE On Stage is based upon the classic murder-mystery Hasbro board game along with Paramount’s 1985 Motion Picture of Clue. Its mysterious and comical aura remains evident in both the movie and play with the script’s witty jokes and suspenseful music. Characters also remained constant throughout the play as they are in the game and movie. All characters in the play have a unique persona and a color that symbolizes them throughout the course of the performance; senior Mia Ebert as Miss Scarlet with the color red, CC Chemezova as Mrs. Peacock with the color blue, John Aslanes as Mr. Green with the color green, Phillipe Grard as Colonel Mustard with the color yellow, Liliana Rossi as Mrs. White with the color white, and Dylan Lampe as Professor Plum with the color purple. 

The story starts out with all characters arriving at a mansion welcomed by the butler of the house, Wadsworth, played by sophomore Ayyoob Saeed, and the maid, Yvette, played by Elise Cantrell. Wadsworth gives each of the six guests a “code name” for themselves so they do not know each other’s true identity. The audience comes to find out the reasoning of this when Wadsworth threatens the guests that they will be exposed of their wrong-doings supported by evidence he holds in his briefcase. As Mr. Boddy, played by senior Brandon Berger, enters the mansion, every character is given a weapon to defend themself throughout the night to uphold their expensive egos in risk of spoiling because of what is in Wadsworth’s case files. What weapons does he give them you may ask? That is when the board game comes into play. Characters are given one of the following weapons; a leadpipe, knife, wrench, candlestick, rope, and revolver. 

If you have watched the movie before, you already know what happens in the end. If you have not, I will not spoil it for you and say watch the movie yourself or look it up online. Let’s just say that there are many twists and turns and the play does not end up the way you may have envisioned it to be.

The Panther Production’s adaptation of the play was strinkingly similar to the game, with the stage floor painted to recreate the gameboard itself, and the antique furniture on set brought elements of the book to life. I have not watched the movie before, but I’ve heard it’s an exact replica of how the play was. The casting was great and the costumes were excellent, especially with the 1950s timeframe the play was set in. The backgrounds of the play were well-done and the audio quality throughout the show was consistent.

Touching on the comical part of the show, the delivery of Grard’s jokes as Colonel Mustard were clever and very quick. If audiences picked up on Cantrell’s facial expressions as Yvette throughout the course of the play, they may have been able to predict what would happen next. Saeed’s swanky voice as Wadsworth kept the audience engaged throughout the nearly two-hour long performance. Cast members playing guards were even instructed by Saeed to lock the doors to the auditorium making audience members feel as though they were immersed into the world of CLUE. All the characters jived together very well and all layered their emotions and jokes on top of each other. Although CLUE is fictional, any true crime fan would’ve been engaged and entertained by the show.

As for what the drama department has in store for the future, The Little Mermaid is the spring musical for this school year. If you are interested in having a part in the play, tryouts are happening on Nov 29 in the auditorium. (If you’re reading this the day it is published, that’s today!)  I’d say the drama department is making a comeback.