SHHS students to perform who-dunnit murder mystery ‘Clue’ March 2-4

Sean C. Morgan

Sweet Home High School will soon reveal the who, the where and the how of the murder of Mr. Boddy when students perform their winter play, “Clue.”

Performances are at 7 p.m. March 2 and March 3, with a 1:30 p.m. matinee March 4.

“‘Clue’ is obviously based on the board game,” said Autumn Almanza, art teacher and assistant director. “I believe that the script is mostly taken from the movie.”

The language and plot are similar, she said.

The story, a dark comedy, unfolds in 1954 as six strangers attend a party at a secluded mansion. During the dinner, a seventh guest, Mr. Boddy, who had been blackmailing the other guests, arrives. When he turns out the lights, he is killed, and the butler suggests the guests search for clues to who killed Mr. Boddy.

Almanza suggested the title to director Alain Brown, social studies teacher, who selected the script.

Almanza said her husband worked at a dinner theater in Fresno, Calif. The two were discussing ways to boost community turnout to the high school plays. She asked him what some of the more popular plays were. He told her “Clue” was always a hit.

“It’s coming along pretty good, so far,” Almanza said. “We open in two weeks. It’s going to be interesting, I hope. The kids are doing really good. I’m happy they’re enjoying it.”

Brown did a great job casting the play, she said. “They like the parts they’ve been given.”

The cast were scheduled to be rehearsing without scripts beginning Tuesday, Almanza said. “We’re on schedule, although in any performance, you can always use some more time. Opening night, they’ll be ready to go.”

“We’ve actually come a really long way,” said actress Sidney Hooley.

“Everybody’s got their lines down,” said actress Abby Stone.

“It’s actually on track,” said actor Colby Montigue.

“It’s the most interesting one we’ve ever done,” Stone said. “I like the fast pace.”

Once the plot gets going, “there’s a lot of accusations back and forth,” Montigue said. “It’s got a lot of physical and lyrical humor.”

“There’s a lot of really good banter,” Hooley said.

The play will feature a live soundtrack, Montigue said, with a couple of brief musical moments.

The play borrows from previous sets to dress the stage. Karen Craig has provided costumes.

Hooley said that the play is essentially rated PG-13, and Montigue stressed that “it’s not for children.”

They described it as maybe “less inappropriate” for children than “Spaceballs” or “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” Mel Brooks films that were rated PG and PG-13 respectively, with much of the edgier material based on innuendo and mature content.

This is Almanza’s first play as assistant director. She was trying to support the group and help out with marketing the play, but she got more involved. She found she wanted to be there for casting and practice and soon became the play’s assistant director.

“I’m grateful that I did,” Almanza said. “I love it. I’m invested, and I really want to get lots of people into the performance.”

“It’s going so well,” Hooley said of Almanza. “And she’s irreplaceable.”

To help draw crowds, Almanza said, the students will perform a matinee for the first time, with free admission for those 55 and older.

“Show up,” Hooley said. “It’ll be fun.”

The cost is $4 for adults, $2 for students and seniors and $10 for families. Dress as your favorite “Clue” character to take a dollar off the admission price.

The cast includes Storm Paris, narrator and cop; Colby Montigue, Wadsworth; Sidney Hooley, Yvette; Melissa Evans, Mrs. Ho; David Briggs, Col. Mustard; Annalee McIntosh, Mrs. White; Holly Lester, Mrs. Peacock; Cedar Paris, Mr. Green; Abby Stone, Ms. Scarlet; Grayson Johnston, Prof. Plum; Josh Crawford, Mr. Boddy; Jessica Sanderson, motorist; Breyann Babbitt, evangelist and police chief; and Rebekah Woody, telegram girl. FBI agents will be played by members of the technical crew. Tech crew and music credits were unavailable at press time.

Tech crew and musicians include Jayce Owen, Shelby Goodwin, Branden Moore, Sky Hilton, Braden Greene, Benjamin Mull and Jaha Scott.