HICKSVILLE — The Huber Opera House in Hicksville was full for the Feb. 18 evening dinner and theater performance of “Clue On Stage.”
“Clue On Stage” is a comical murder mystery set in 1954 outside Washington, D.C. at the height of the red scare and with McCarthyism as the backdrop to the murders. Six strangers all being extorted for various minor crimes are invited to Boddy Manor to meet their blackmailer, Mr. Boddy (Michael Kennedy) and his staff.
When the lights go out the six house guests, given colorful pseudonyms by their extorting benefactor, discover the body of Mr. Boddy and with the house staff dropping like flies it’s likely that someone in the house is a murderer.
Miss Scarlet (Kelly Wilson), Mrs. White (Kathy Kennedy), Mrs. Peacock (Jennifer Thomas), Mr. Green (Titus Garmater), Col. Mustard (Keith Robinson) and Professor Plum (Dan Lehman), along with the butler of Boddy Manor, Wadsworth (Dan Bulau), race to find their blackmailers’ incriminating evidence before the police arrive.
The play is a dark comedy for mature audiences. Performances and dialogue were timed well with inflection and punchlines landing with the attendees laughing all evening.
The play was directed by Julie Hall and, along with the rest of the crew, did an excellent job. Stand-out moments in the play include the tango Wadsworth and Mrs. White perform while searching the manor; the maid, Yvette (Nichole Robinson) screaming when she thinks she been poisoned and her consistent French maid accent. And the cook (Gretchen Clark) who did an excellent job of being a dead body moved around the stage multiple times without breaking character.
The set design was outstanding, and for this reviewer one of the most memorable and creative sets. With limited space the production team used the entire stage, both side stages, the left hand box and a portion of the left side of the floor in front of the stage to set up 10 distinctly different rooms in Boddy Manor. Each location set was designed and lit with one of the six main color themes giving, perhaps, a clue-filled aspect to the set dressing.
Costuming was also on point for this production with every colorful character dazzlingly decked out in signature shade. All six guests were vividly unique with no chance of audience members confusing them. Mr. Peacock’s costuming managed to be both eye-catching and — for this reviewer — the show standout with her dress being entirely covered in sequined peacock feathers and long fringe.
The event was also a dinner theater event, with several round tables occupying the floor directly in front of the stage, close to the red lit library room set, which brought the audience right up to the action as actors descended the stage several times to interact with the library set.
Front row seats of the theater were also reserved for those who purchased dinner tickets to give them the option of also sitting further back rather than at the dinner tables during the performance.
The tables provided for dinners were decorated with black table clothes and red runners. Several candles lit the center of the table and food by Grant’s Catering was a choice of chicken or beef along with rolls, mixed vegetables and flavored rice. Also provided were tea, lemonades and coffee for audience members.
Additionally available for the audience were show programs that folded out into the game board of clue with the room locations of Boddy Manor marked out on it surrounded by bios of the cast with a mugshot.
It’s clear to this reviewer that great care and effort was put into the Huber Opera House’s dinner theater program which offered a luxury experience to both locals and guests from further away, including several other counties and out-of-state visitors.
All in all this reviewer is looking forward to future productions at the Huber Opera House and hopes to see more excellent performances coming soon.
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