OHHS production of “Clue” will tickle your funny bone

— Created February 14, 2024 by Kathy Reed

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
Who killed Mr. Boddy? Was it Mr. Green with a lead pipe in the library? Or perhaps it was Mrs. Peacock with a knife in the dining room? Find out when you see the Oak Harbor High School Drama Club’s presentation of “Clue, High School Edition,” opening tonight. Pictured from left are Mr. Green (Asher Lemme), Professor Plum (Kincaid Cochran), Col. Mustard (Zoe Bever), Yvette (Sabrina Cray), Miss Scarlet (Isabella Barbee), Mrs. White (Sadie Marriott), Wadsworth (Spencer Grubbs) and Mrs. Peacock (Savannah Dickson). Mr. Boddy is played by Linndsy Scheer

By Kathy Reed

The Oak Harbor High School Drama Club has a treat in store for anyone who loves a good mystery, a good comedy and for some, a good dose of nostalgia.

The club’s production of “Clue, High School Edition” is true to not only the 1985 movie (screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, written by Sandy Rustin with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price), but also to the classic Parker Bros. board game, with nuggets of acknowledgement sprinkled throughout the show. Performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting tonight and running through Feb. 24 at the OHHS Student Union Building (SUB). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
Wadsworth (Spencer Grubbs) tries whatever he can to keep an unexpected police officer (Clara Ashcroft) from figuring out Mr. Boddy (Linndsy Scheer), seated on the sofa, is actually dead, while Mrs. White (Sadie Marriott) looks on.

Fans of the movie will not be disappointed with this stage play.

“It’s probably one of the best-written comedy movies of all time with an all-star, celebrity roster,” shared co-director Eric George, who is a volunteer advisor. “Our production is the stage version of that movie, so it has a lot of the same beats and jokes that are in the movie. The ending in the show is different than the movie – the movie has three different endings, whereas the stage version has a definitive ending.”

The only other changes audiences may notice in the high school version of “Clue” is that some of the innuendo from the film has been modified to be more age appropriate, but that has no impact on the show. It is as funny as ever, with a talented cast of actors who truly bring their over-the-top movie personas to life.

“The cast is amazing, they are so funny and they give 100 percent at every rehearsal,” said George. “Without a great core cast you can’t do this show. They need to rely on each other, be able to be funny without being too funny, being these imaginary characters, and making them their own. It’s truly awesome to watch.”

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
The bodies are beginning to pile up at Boddy Manor, the setting for the OHHS Drama Club’s production of “Clue,” based on the hit 1985 film. Shown from left are Sadie Marriott as Mrs. White, Savannah Dickson as Mrs. Peacock, Kincaid Cochran as Professor Plum and Spencer Grubbs as Wadsworth, as Asher Lemme, who plays Mr. Green, finds himself under the cook’s body, played by Mara Rotter.

“We have some solid seniors in this cast as well as quite a few newer students,” said faculty advisor and co-director, Micki Gibson. “Several of our veterans are involved in ‘The Laramie Project’ over at the Whidbey Playhouse, so this has given more students an opportunity to shine.”

When it comes to the cast, some of them were very familiar with the movie, some of them knew the board game and some had experience with both. But whether they knew the story before or not, it is clear they have thrown themselves into their roles and seem to relish the opportunity to find the humor in the abundance of murders taking place.

“The only experience I had with the show beforehand was watching the movie, so getting to live the show firsthand has been amazing,” said Spencer Grubbs, a senior who plays Wadsworth in the show. “I enjoy the show because the mystery and suspense is cleverly written and thought out, while still delivering some of the funniest lines and moments of any show I’ve been a part of.”

“I played the game once but that was basically it,” said Hailie Hennessey, a junior who plays one of the backup cops. “I like all the little details that I didn’t notice at first as well as the comical dialogue and scenes. I got to read for absent people, which I believe helped me learn more and be more confident in wanting to audition for a bigger role next year.”

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
Guests at Boddy Manor try to eavesdrop for information as to why they’ve been invited to the mansion in the OHHS Drama Club production of “Clue.” Pictured from left are Asher Lemme as Mr. Green, Savannah Dickson as Mrs. Peacock, Sadie Marriott as Mrs. White, Kincaid Cochran as Professor Plum and Isabella Barbee as Miss Scarlet.

“I love the quirky characters and their comedic personalities,” said freshman Elizabeth McDaniel, who plays the police chief. “Something about having characters that manage to be comedic even with something dire happening is just amazing.”

Senior Kincaid Cochran plays Professor Plum. She said playing the role of a man in the show took a little extra work.

“I didn’t expect playing a man to be all that different from playing a woman, but I found myself having to remind myself to stand more manly, as well as asking the other men on set to show me how they would do something to better understand how I should,” she shared. “The play is unique by [taking] really aggressive stereotypes of characters and bringing them into a murder mystery. None of the characters trust each other, but due to the situation, they have to work together, which allows for plenty of shenanigans.”

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
Colonel Mustard (Zoe Bever) tries to establish order amid the chaos of multiple murders at Boddy Manor, the setting for “Clue, High School Edition,” playing this weekend and next at Oak Harbor High School.

“I prepared myself for the role by talking to my dad’s friends about how a Colonel walks,” said senior Zoe Bever, who plays Col. Mustard. “My character is very aloof, but he means well.”

Sabrina Cray, a junior, said both the movie and board game versions of “Clue” are family favorites.

“My character is the French maid, Yvette,” she said. “As she cleans the house, she also listens in on the conversations that are happening in the suspicious Boddy Manor. I love the comedy of the story, and how it [makes] a serious topic so goofy.”

“Clue” takes place on the main stage of the SUB, rather than the smaller, backstage black box area, which was helpful in terms of bringing Boddy Manor to life.

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
 Wadsworth serves wine to Mr. Boddy’s very confused dinner guests in the OHHS Drama Club production of “Clue.” There will be six performances of the show over the next two weekends. Pictured from left are Asher Lemme (Mr. Green), Spencer Grubbs (Wadsworth), Savannah Dickson (Mrs. Peacock) and Sadie Marriott (Mrs. White).

“I don’t think we could have done it without having a main stage,” George said. “This show lends itself to having lots of room, and even on our stage we had to make do with smaller rooms, because we needed eight.”

Everything comes together, making “Clue” a delightful show. The set is very effective, and creative transitions from “room to room” add to the illusion of a large mansion. With good costuming, solid performances and a fun script, be careful – you just might die laughing!

“For some, the nostalgia of either the board game or the 1985 movie with the all-star cast will draw them in,” Gibson said. “For others, having an opportunity to laugh and enjoy watching our talented students will be the treat. For me personally, it is the combination of both.”