Clue: On Stage by Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, PA
February 5, 2019
Review submitted by Katie Tuberosa of Cardinal O’Hara High School
Six murders, six suspects, and one plot twist that no one saw coming! Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy wasn’t playing any games with their production of Clue: On Stage. They had audiences hooked from the first moments to the shocking finale!
Clue: On Stage is based on the popular Hasbro board game made into a Paramount Pictures movie. The nefarious lives of Miss Scarlett, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and Mr. Green are about to be exposed by their blackmailer, Mr. Boddy. Things take a turn once Mr. Boddy is murdered. Everyone is a suspect and, with the help of Wadsworth, they must navigate the house in search of clues that lead them to Mr. Boddy’s killer.
Max Weinstein (Wadsworth) commanded the audience’s attention and drove the energy of every scene. Max’s masterful comedic skill helped him craft a memorable Wadsworth with an impeccable accent, the “regalness of a butler” and informative asides. Dori Hoffman (Miss Scarlett) was a standout among the dinner guests. Her facial expressions, cigarette smoking, and flirtatious interludes with Professor Plum brilliantly depicted the sultry Miss Scarlett.
Noah Hamermesh flawlessly portrayed the clueless Colonel Mustard. Noah managed to play dumb without overdoing it and was a crowd favorite. Rebecca Weinstein perfectly embodied Mrs. White from her dry, witty delivery of one-liners to her dark, brooding monotone. She showed a glimmer of emotion when she cried out about her rage with the iconic line, “Flames, flames.”
The dinner guests and Wadsworth had undeniable chemistry. They worked very well off each other’s energy and ad-libs in order to make the story authentic. The ensemble stayed in character from the first line through the final bows.
Senior Daniel Nahamo, the director and producer of Clue: on Stage, successfully executed a difficult show. To quote Wadsworth, “Can you keep a secret?” Well, this was Daniel Nahamo’s first show, but the audience would never know it! The stage direction and scene transitions were cleverly thought out, and the use of a small space was maximized. The stage gave the illusion of a massive, historic mansion with a myriad of doors through which Wadsworth led the suspects.
The real mystery has been solved: Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy did it with their fabulous production of Clue: On Stage in their theater.
Review submitted by Aurelle Odhner of Academy of the New Church
Was it Peacock in the library with the knife? Or Colonel Mustard in the study with the wrench? It must have been none other than the twenty-two cast and crew members at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy with the script of Clue: On Stage.
Clue: On Stage is one of many reincarnations of the classic board game Cluedo. Originally designed by Anthony E. Pratt in 1949, this murder mystery game made its way from Birmingham, England to the United states where it was rebranded as Clue. It has since inspired similar homicidal whodunits in every medium from mini-series to theatrical productions. A recent addition to the franchise, Clue: On Stage first premiered in May of 2017 at the Bucks County Playhouse. The puzzling plot weaves together suspense and comedy as the classic characters navigate the sinister games of their host, Mr. Boddy. As the night wears on, cadavers and accusations pile up leaving the audience guessing at every turn.
Leading the invested group of students involved in this production was the student director and producer, Daniel Nahamo, assisted by Noah Feinberg. His dramatic decisions highlighted the script’s ridiculous humor, while the actors brought a chilling reality to their impersonations of corpses. The cast’s energetic antics accompanied by well-timed technical cues left the audience laughing and screaming in equal measure.
The play’s six central suspects cooperated well as an ensemble and demonstrated an ironically vivacious energy throughout the show. Dori Hoffman, as the infamously flirtatious Miss Scarlett, stood out with her spirited performance and attention to detail, while Rivkah Wyner lent remarkable depth and expression to the more complex character of Mrs. Peacock. Eli Beaubien’s portrayal of Mr. Green added a reliable deadpan and authentic acting to an exaggeratedly comedic show.
Several dedicated actors, including Deborah Mizrachi as the Cook and Michael Grant Warshowsky as the mysterious Mr. Boddy, made amusing cameos and stayed remarkable in character in both life and death.
The production team made the most of a small stage through simple, mobile sets. Although lengthy scene changes left the audience in the dark in more ways than one, the light and sound crews executed cues with excellent timing.
Barrack Hebrew Academy’s Clue: On Stage was a thrillingly twisted tale full of laughter and horror alike.