The game ‘Clue’ comes alive at David Douglas High Theater

WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO | See why audiences are heartily laughing, while still sitting on the edge of their seats, during this action-packed show – playing for the next two weekends in outer East Portland …

During a dress rehearsal of “Clue: On Stage”, in the Hazelwood neighborhood’s David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center, pandemonium sets in as suspects accuse one another.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Picture this: On a dark and stormy night, you’ve accepted an invitation to a very unusual dinner party. All of the other guests, you gradually learn, have an alias, and an alibi. They’ll need it, because the host is – how shall we put this delicately? – deceased!

This is the story that unfolded on state in the David Douglas High School (DDHS) Horner Performing Arts Center stage on opening night, Thursday, March 10, as the cast and crew of their Theater Department presented the comedic murder mystery “Clue: On Stage”.

This lighthearted look at murder – Clue: On Stage – continues through March 20. See below for the dates and times, which include two Family Matinee shows.

Based on a movie, and a game
This stage play was adapted from the 1985 Paramount Pictures film “CLUE”, written by Jonathan Lynn, which was inspired by the characters and actions involved with the board game “CLUE®”, made by Hasbro, Inc.

However, the game was first manufactured by Waddingtons in the United Kingdom in 1949, under the title “Cluedo”.

Watch this video, and you’ll learn why
each of these murder suspects asserts
they’re innocent of killing Mr. Boddy:

About the story
Like all murder mysteries, it’s simple. Guests at a dinner party in the remote Boddy Mansion are served by Wadsworth, the uptight butler, and Yvette, the French Maid, who turns out to have her own secret aspirations. However, when Mr. Boddy turns up dead, all of the guests are suspects.

These guests include:

  • Miss Scarlet, a sardonic escort service manager whose real interest is in secrets.
  • Mrs. Peacock, the batty, neurotic, church-going wife of a Senator, who is quick to descend into hysteria.
  • Mrs. White, a morbid and tragic woman who may, or may not, be the murderer of any or all of her five ex-husbands.
  • Colonel Mustard, an arrogant and dull-witted blow-hard of a military man.
  • Professor Plum, an academic Casanova who woos women with his intellect.
  • Mr. Green, who timidly insists on following rules in his own klutzy way.


Directing the cast in a scene, here’s DDHS Theater Instructor David Rosenbaum.

Asked why Clue was chosen as their winter show, DDHS Theater Instructor David Rosenbaum quickly replied, “With everything that we have all been going through as a community, it seemed like we could all use a fun, high-energy show – and Clue is just that.

“The ‘oversized’ characters, classic comedy, and suspense behind the murder mystery, makes Clue the sort of fun and engaging show that a lot of us are looking for right now,” Rosenbaum told East Portland News.

Why is Wadsworth, the butler, engaged in deeply admiring the hardwood flooring in the Boddy Mansion? Could it be that he’s trying to avoid suspicion? Or, trying to permit some of the “suspects” to escape?

Each performance features a cast of ten student actors. Because this is an “ensemble show”, there aren’t any leading characters. Each of the characters has his or her time in the spotlight, as the actors bring them to life.

The show’s sets, lighting design, sound, and costuming were all created by some 55 students in the Stagecraft classes. More than a dozen student stage techs run all of the technical elements during the performances.

Clue is a hilarious play that continues to be funny no matter how many times we rehearse it,” observed Rosenbaum. “The culture of mutual support, fun, and dedication that these student actors have created – after being apart from one another for so long, due to the COVID pandemic – has been rejuvenating and wonderful, and I feel lucky to be a part of it!”

As COVID requirements are changing, it appears that the cast will be performing without masks. “But, all of our actors will be at least 20 feet away from the nearest audience member,” Rosenbaum promised.

“Who is accusing who?” shouts these dinner guests at one another.

So, who did commit this appalling crime, with what and where?

Was it Professor Plum, with a rope, in the study?

Could it have been Mrs. White, with a lead pipe, in the pantry?

Might it have been Yvette, with a dagger, in the basement?

In comedic chaos that swirls among the characters throughout the evening, audience members are left guessing, who-done-it? See it for yourself! Go see “Clue: On Stage” through November 20.

Each time officers of the law arrive, a different character voices their alibi, and pandemonium again breaks out.

A word of counsel: Since this play is a “murder mystery”, in the vein of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” – as well as the parodies that followed, including “The Real Inspector Hound”, and “Sleuth” – this show is about characters solving a murder.

These days, when so many are so easily offended, so often, keep in mind that while Clue: On Stage is considered to be a “dark comedy”, it does not promote violence.

And, the DDHS Thespians are presenting the “High School Edition” – specifically adapted and intended by the playwrights to be suitable for family audiences.

This cast of Clue: On Stage takes a well-deserved curtain call at the end of a performance.

March 11 through March 20, see Clue: On Stage
The curtain rises for evening performances at 7:30 p.m. as Clue: On Stage continues playing on March 11 and 12; and continue the evenings of March 17, 18 and 19.

And, there are special Family Matinee shows on March 13 and March 20 at 2:30 p.m.

TICKETS: $14 Adults | $10 Students. To make online reservations, CLICK HERE to be taken to their Box Office Site. All performances are at the Howard Horner Performing Arts Center, located at 1400 SE 130th Avenue (between SE Stark and Division Streets).

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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