Photos courtesy Deanne Jones
This year’s Halloween-ish production at The Empress Theatre is Clue The Musical. The board game that the musical is based on is one of our favorite games as a family, so the kids were especially excited to attend a production.
“My intention was to bring the game to life, giving the audience perspective of what it would be like if they could jump into the game and travel room to room,” said Director Connie Beaty. “Through the eerie harmonies and spooky ambiance, I wanted to give the audience a fun filled Halloween themed night where they can join in on the mystery, and feel as though they were kids again gathered around the kitchen table throwing dice and trying to best their siblings or friends.”
When we arrived, we were given a score card to keep track of the suspects, rooms and weapons. Before the performance begins, three audience members are invited to pick one card each to determine who the suspect is, which weapon they used and in which room. Like the board game, these cards are placed in an envelope and sat on a table where they remain throughout the performance. Because this is done at each performance, the correct answers are different each time. A new clue is given at the end of each act.
Because the language used for each clue is a little bit tricky, younger audience members may need help from parents or older siblings to decode what the clue means and which suspects, rooms and weapons they should mark off of their scorecard. I also recommend jotting down quick notes on the back of your scorecard as it’s being said; the lights go dark immediately after the clue is given, and you may forget what was said when the lights go back up. By jotting down the clue on the back, you can then think about it more as soon as the lights are back on and mark the appropriate columns.
As with all performances at The Empress, we loved the way the set was designed. It changes with each production, and is always beautifully designed so that it draws your interest and makes you feel like you are a part of the act.
“I designed the set and show to capture the essence of the game, from solid silver weapons, giant cards and classic outfits,” said Connie Beaty, Director and Set Construction. “I hope it truly brings this great game to life.”
All of the performers in this production did a great job with their roles, but 0ne of our favorite performers was Colonel Mustard, played by Brett Davis. He’s exactly what I imagined Col. Mustard would be like if he stepped out of the board game. His facial expressions and mannerisms were fully immersed into his character. This is his first performance at The Empress, and we hope to see him in many more to come!
Clue The Musical is playing now through November 7th every Monday, Friday and Saturday at The Empress Theatre in Magna. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased online or in person at the box office.