“Clue: The Musical” reopens the Crossroads Theater.
After roughly a year and a half of being dark, the lights shined once again on the Crossroads stage for four fabulous performances of “Clue: The Musical” on July 22 and 23. Featuring a cast and crew enrolled in the Summer at Crossroads musical theater class, the production welcomed masked and socially distanced attendees to participate in an interactive experience to solve the whodunit based on the popular board game of the same name.
“Coming back to live theater is so special to us,” said Fred Pinto, who has been co-directing Crossroads’ summer shows with Ronnie Anderson for the past fifteen years. Working with Director of Auxiliary Programs Laura Tell Presburger, Fred and Ronnie selected “Clue” in part because it could easily be adapted for a virtual production if needed. When they were given the greenlight to stage an in-person show, so many students signed up that Fred and Ronnie requested special permission to add a chorus and dialogue. They also double-cast multiple characters to give more students an opportunity to participate.
For each performance, members of the audience received a scorecard and pencil to record clues about the potential suspects, weapons and locations in the murder of the show’s wealthy host, Mr. Boddy. With alternative endings written into the script—boasting 216 possible solutions—several parents, siblings and friends of the cast and crew enjoyed more than one performance to see if they could master the game.
Erin Moss—parent to actors Simon and Jacob Liszt, who respectively played Professor Plum and Mr. Boddy on the second day of performances—was one of the few repeat attendees to solve the mystery. Following the show, she reflected on seeing her children onstage after so long: “They are theater kids. ... They really missed being a part of that experience. And I think they both liked doing the show together. It’s so rare that they get to do that.”
Before the final performance, the young cast and crew had the chance to meet the show’s lyricist, Tom Chiodo. An infrequent attendee of his own shows, Chiodo hadn’t seen “Clue” performed in more than 20 years prior to the Summer at Crossroads production. He advised the aspiring lyricists in the group to “start now!”
Max Trejo, who played Mr. Green on the second day of performances, enjoyed Chiodo’s openness. Max noted, “He was really friendly to us. … I got to learn a bunch of history about him.”
Crossroads hopes to stage more in-person productions in the 2021-22 school year.