REVIEW: Armed with Wit, ‘Clue: On Stage’ is a Killer Good Time at Meadow Brook Theatre

Meadow Brook Theatre (MBT) officially kicked off its 2021-2022 season with the riotously funny Clue: On Stage, playing through November 7, 2021, on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI.

Based on the 1985 cult classic film by Paramount Pictures and the beloved Hasbro board game, Clue: On Stage was written by Sandy Rustin, based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price, and original music by Michael Holland. This is one of my favorite movies because it is a sheer delight to watch the choreographed comedy unfold and I was thrilled that MBT’s live production delivers the same level of infectious creative energy. A sentiment I felt the packed opening night crowd echoed with their generous applause and laughter throughout the show.

The story is set in 1954, just outside of Washington, D.C. On a dark and stormy night, six strangers have been mysteriously summoned to Boddy Manor and told to use a pseudonym instead of their real name.

Catch this killer cast in ‘Clue: On Stage’ at Meadow Brook Theatre.
Front L to R: Lynnae Lehfeldt as ‘Mrs. Peacock,’ Gregory James as ‘Wadsworth, and Amy Griffin as ‘Mrs. White.’
Back L to R: Phil Powers as ‘Colonel Mustard,’ Timothy C. Goodwin as ‘Professor Plum,’ Jennifer Bryne as ‘Miss Scarlet,’ and Chris Stinson as ‘Mr. Green.’
Photo courtesy of Sean Carter Photography

The first to arrive is the bumbling Colonel Mustard (Phil Powers), followed by the erratic Mrs. White (Amy Griffin) and frenzied Mrs. Peacock (Lynnae Lehfeldt). The neurotic Mr. Green (Chris Stinson), misogynist Professor Plum (Timothy C. Goodwin), and sultry Miss Scarlet (Jennifer Byrne in her MBT debut) arrive soon after. Greeting the guests is the butler Wadsworth (Gregory James) and rounding out the household is the Cook (Lexie Farrer) and maid Yvette (Olivia Ursu). Each guest suspiciously sizes each other up and there is more than one flicker of recognition among the group, although they all deny knowing each other. Their host Mr. Boddy (Stephen Blackwell) finally arrives, and the guests demand answers. Mr. Boddy explains his game and then he hands each of them a black box containing a revolver, candlestick, rope, wrench, dagger, and lead pipe. As they are all trying to figure out the latest piece of the puzzle, the room is plunged into darkness and when the lights come back on – there’s a body on the floor! From there, the bodies (and laughs) start piling up as the cast wildly runs around trying to figure out ‘whodunnit’ while trying to keep from being the next victim.  

Clue: On Stage is the kind of play where the believability of the character hinges on the delivery and timing of the dialogue and action. Each actor absolutely nails their character and as a group, they are a creative force of nature. Their antics are meant to be exaggerated, and that is precisely what makes this play so entertaining to watch. The live musical underscoring by Stacy Cleaveland also enriched the experience. It reminded me of how music was used in silent movies to emphasize crucial moments and fill the space when there is no dialogue. In fact, I felt like this music was another character in the play. The other clever aspect was the stage and set design. The stage is the expansive foyer of Boddy Manor, with three single doors on either side and the double front door in the center. Anytime there are that many doors on stage, it’s almost certain they will get used frequently and with comedic results. But what takes this staging to the next level is the ingenious way the rooms slide out on stage as needed for a scene. It was a smart use of the space and added another ‘a-ha’ element to the story. From start to finish, Clue: On Stage is a laugh-out-loud madcap escapade that will make you wish the board game was just as lively.

Will you be able to guess the who, where, and with what? Will Police Chief Gill T. Verdict get his man… or woman? You may think you have it all figured out, but trust me, there are plenty of twists (and a rapid-fire recap from Wadsworth) right up to the end before the identity of the murderer is revealed. But one thing is for certain – Clue: On Stage proves that murder is pretty funny business. Are you game?

Clue: On Stage is directed by Travis W. Walter, Terry W. Carpenter is the stage manager with scenic design by Kristen Gribbin, costume design by Leslie Littell, lighting design by Eric Van Tassell, and sound design by Mike Duncan.

This performance runs for approximately one hour and 20 minutes with no intermission. Please note the production uses gunshots and flashing lights.

Tickets range from $36 to $46 and are available by calling the Meadow Brook Theatre box office at 248-377-3300 or going online at Student discounts are available at the box office. Groups of eight or more should call 248-370-3316 for group pricing.

A special note: As Covid-19 is a constantly changing situation, MBT will be monitoring and adhering to the guidance given by the CDC, the State of Michigan, the Actor’s Equity Association, and Oakland University. Check the Meadow Brook Theatre website at for the latest information on efforts to keep everyone safe.

Editor’s Note: Originally the role of Gill T. Verdict was attributed to Grant Cleaveland instead of Stephen Blackwell who portrayed the Police Chief. This review has been updated to reflect the change.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at


  1. Michelle Carpenter says

    I’m wondering if there is any sort of closed captioning device available. Mt husband wears hearing aids but they are just “aids” and aren’t the same as perfect hearing. We are able to use closed captioning on our smart TV and at Imagine Movie Theatre so he is able to better follow along.

    Thank you

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