"Clue": Theater Review

Location Info

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Boxcar Playhouse

505 Natoma
San Francisco, CA 94103

Category: Performing Arts Venues

Region: South of Market

Details

Through Feb. 19 at the Boxcar Theater, 505 Natoma (at Sixth St.), S.F. $25-$35; 776-1747 or www.boxcartheatre.org.

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It's worrisome when the preshow announcement to a play based on a 1985 cult classic film includes a caveat that audience-goers should probably be drunk, and also that we should watch the movie at least five times in order to "get" the play. Luckily, neither of those prerequisites were necessary to enjoy Clue, the ribald and disorderly murder mystery based on the popular board game (and film). The play stays faithful to the film's plot, while also mocking its wonky editing and mysteriously disappearing accents in asides to the audience, which adds a boisterous freshness to the whodunit spoof. Big ups go to Mrs. Peacock (J. Conrad Frank aka Katya Smirnoff-Skyy) for a spot-on, hysterical impression of film icon Eileen Brennan, and to Mrs. White (Michelle Ianiro), whose unhinged sauciness adds a delightful layer of bring-it to the role. The stage itself is a life-size board that the audience looks down at from above, creating a visually arresting Petri dish effect (after the Friday show, the cast plays Clue-the-game as life-size playing pieces). For all the play's pleasant predictability, one minor grievance was the unnecessary use of blackface for a minor character. Barring that, however, Clue is a highly energetic spectacle that definitely holds up a candlestick to the movie.

 
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