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Curtain Rises: Cedar Crest College has a ‘Clue’

A play based on a classic Hasbro board game will open in Samuels Theatre, Cedar Crest College.

“Clue: On Stage” has its collegiate premiere, Sept. 29 - Oct. 2 at the Allentown college.

The play was inspired by the murder mystery game created in Britain in 1943, as well as the film “Clue” (1985).

Jonathan Lynn and John Landis co-wrote the movie screenplay, which has three alternative endings. Although the film did not do well at the box office, it developed a cult following.

A musical based on the movie opened Off-Broadway in 1997, but did not receive favorable reviews.

Lynn collaborated with Tony-nominated actor Hunter Foster; Eric Price, assistant to producer Hal Prince, and Sandy Rustin, screenwriter of “Mystic Pizza” (1988), to write a non-musical stage play version of “Clue” that resolves with one ending.

“Clue: On Stage” premiered in 2017 at Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, starring Sally Struthers as Mrs. Peacock. The production was lauded for its comic energy.

“I am super excited to be directing this at Cedar Crest College,” says director JoAnn Wilchek Basist.

As with the board game, the play asks who killed Mr. Boddy? Was it Professor Plum in the conservatory with the candlestick? Or was it Miss Scarlet in the library with the lead pipe?

On a stormy night, six guests, plus a butler and a maid, are at a dinner party at the home of Mr. Boddy.

When their host turns up dead, the guests must figure out “whodunit.”

The cast is Noel Cruz (Miss Scarlet), Alex Vidal Perez (Mrs. White), Andrew Galindez (Mr. Green), Carter Reichard (Mrs. Peacock), Mark Eichorn (Professor Plum), Robert Trexler (Colonel Mustard), Nik Georgievski (Wadsworth), Madison Anusky (Yvette), Sofia Barbour (The Cook) and Jerry Brucker (Mr. Boddy).

The cast includes Dan Rambo, Mark Ingram,Billy Ehrlacher, Ashly Rodriguez-Ascencio, Oli Wagner and Emma Leap.

“The set design by Roxanne Amico is amazing. She has designed a really clever set that looks like a three-dimensional game board,” Wilchek Basist says.

Wilchek Basist is thrilled that Tony Award-nominee Michael McDonald designed the costumes.

McDonald, a 1981 William Allen High School graduate, has worked with New York costume designer Beth Clancy on Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning “The Goat,” the musical “Blood Brothers” and Arthur Miller’s “The Ride Down Mount Morgan.” In 2009, his work on the Broadway revival of “Hair” earned him nominations for a Tony Award for Best Costume Design and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design.

Wilchek Basist says there also are “Clue”-themed and special activities during the play’s run, including a “Clue” prop photo booth at performances.

There is a pizza party for the audience and cast opening night and a cupcake send-off closing night.

For the Sept. 30 performance, audience members are encouraged to dress as their favorite “Clue” character and have photos taken on the set after the performance.

On Oct.1, there will be a public “Clue” game day in the Cedar Crest College Library prior to the show.

Performances: 7 p.m. Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1; 2 p.m. Oct. 2.

Tickets: www.cedarcrest.edu/stage; 610-606-4608

“Curtain Rises” is a column about the theater, stage shows, the actors in them and the directors and artists who make them happen. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, pwillistein@tnonline.com.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO From left, front row: Noel Cruz (Miss Scarlet), Carter Reichard (Mrs. Peacock), Alex Perez (Mrs. White), and, back row: Bob Trexler (Colonel Mustard), Mark Eichorn (Professor Plum), Andrew Galindez (Mr. Green), “Clue: On Stage,” Cedar Crest College.