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Milford High School's CLUE

Milford's ensemble of Clue watches as Mr. Green, played by Senior Michael Wedding, narrowly dodges a bullet. Picture provided by Christopher Luessen.

Review by Maria Buerger, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

Blackmail, murder, and mystique were on the menu at the Peterloon Estate this weekend for Clue, the comedic theatrical production based on the eponymous board game. Milford High School invited audiences to sit back and relax, but not get too comfortable because Clue was sure to have you on the edge of your seat.

The board game Clue, designed by the Parker brothers, has been a staple in American households since the 1940s, and it was later adapted into a widely-known movie in 1985. In 1997, the screenplay was translated into a play by Sandy Rustin which ingeniously displays the ins and outs of these mysterious characters in the midst of a murder mystery themed house party.

Milford High School did a phenomenal job interpreting this play in a fashion that paid homage to this classic murder mystery. The comedy was perfect and each line was delivered in quick-paced, knee slapping succession. A particularly memorable moment was the guests’ unpredictable dance sequence that occurred when they split up to search the mansion and it had the audience doubled over laughing in their seats.

The immense talent of this cast was quickly revealed to the audiences the second Wadsworth, played by Michael Tidd, opened the door to the six guests and any other unexpected visitors. Naomi Mulatu, playing Mrs. Peacock, did a stupendous job displaying the uproarious personality and flamboyant style of her character. She had a certain way of moving the audience, whether that be scaring them out of their seats with her piercing screams or making them go into hysterics with her amusing antics. Additionally Mr. Green played by Michael Wedding, displayed the layers of his character incredibly successfully through his on-edge appearance and comedic delivery and escapades.

Carly Cowan, who played both Mr. Boddy and Telegram Girl, displayed her incredible ability to showcase the traits of such contrasting characters, although the Telegram Girl’s stage time may have been cut short. The second she drunkenly waltzed in the lounge as Mr. Boddy carrying her foreboding suitcase, everyone knew trouble was afoot.

The hair and makeup and costume crews, led by Ellie Huhn and Riley Caldwell, did a fantastic job contributing to the overall mysterious vibe of this production. The hair and makeup of the characters were flawless, and the most noticeable look was Mrs. White’s pale face, sharp eye makeup, and red lip to match her killer attitude. Not only were costumes tailored to perfection to the actors, but they were also designed with obvious reference in both color associated with each character’s pseudonym and the style of every guest at the party. The costume that stood out most was Mrs. Peacock’s extravagant dress complete with a peacock feather boa, an ornate pin, and a tasteful, feather-adorned hat that mirrored her bodacious personality, associated with being a senator’s wife.

Milford High School’s performance of Clue enthralled the audience with their clever use of their unique talents and comedy. This production of Clue was a comprehensive theatrical success and the cast and crew did a stupendous job adding to the mystery and drama that is essential to create the atmosphere intended for this show.

Senior student Michael Tidd, as Wordsworth, loses his cool on Milford's production of Clue. Picture provided by Christopher Luessen.

Review by Helena Hennessy, Mercy McAuley High School Critic Team

Balancing comedic moments and a plot centered around high-stakes mystery: Milford High School’s rendition of the iconic production Clue maintained an eerie, intimate atmosphere, all while upholding a hilariously hectic tone.

Penned by Sandy Rustin, and based on the classic Hasbro board game, the narrative of Clue follows six seemingly unsuspecting, wildly contrasting suspects in a silly who-done-it. On a particularly meta stormy night, a ragtag group of guests, cluelessly, arrive at a remote mansion at the request of Wadsworth, a supposedly harmless butler. Havoc ensues as the set goes dark, and a series of murders take place, leaving each of the six dinner guests, weapons in hand, incriminated. The tale then follows these persons of interest through a series of blackmail, betrayal, and karma: ultimately, leaving each guest for themselves in this shocking, thrilling mystery.

Milford High School’s rendition of Clue executed masterful storytelling through their actor’s comical portrayals of renowned characters, paired with complex set design. Despite featuring an entirely unlikely ensemble, actors skillfully illustrated the bonds that formed and were just as easily broken between their bold on-stage personalities; displaying great talent and depth within their performances. Clue’s quick pace was masterfully executed – inserting atmospheric moments that emboldened sequences of pure chaos.

Michael Tidd’s depiction of the party’s butler, Wadsworth, served as a guiding light for Milford’s production. Providing indispensable plot details while leading the suspects through the suspenseful evening, Tidd’s enactment balanced a gentlemanly disposition with utterly humorous performance subtleties. Michael Wedding (Mr. Green) took on his casting in an immensely amusing role with ease. He depicted Mr. Green’s awkward, self-aware nature through his witty psychical comedy: stumbling about and whispering PG-rated expletives under his breath. Audrey Frilling, as the risqué Miss Scarlet, cheekily characterized her role through sly glances at her castmates – claiming an underlying sense of power within her portrayal.

Naomi Mulatu committed to Mrs. Peacock’s wild shrieks with sass and dedication; exhibiting pure terror and humor. Her psychical acting, such as her dramatized tendency to stumble over her words while detesting the fateful night’s events, was a highlight. Col. Mustard’s foolish, redneck flair and southern accent, as well as his brief love affair with Miss Scarlet (Audrey Frilling), were animated by James Holser. Elizabeth Kessel’s delicate rendition of Yvette, the timid French maid, was innately elegant. She put a genuine spin on the story’s archetypal ingénue – feather duster in hand.

Housing their production in the hauntingly intricate Peterloon Estate, Milford High School created an intimate atmosphere for attendees; inserting them into Clue’s mystery. Costume designer Riley Caldwell valued authenticity, as each wardrobe piece was, simply, luxurious. Each suit appeared to be perfectly tailored, and flashy bejeweled necklaces glistened. Chanelle Dau Pino, Milford’s resident lighting designer, used light displays to portray characterization – during each suspect’s grand entrance, surrounding lights lit up in their integral color.

Milford High School’s ensemble cast harnessed humor within their portrayals – utilizing lightheartedness throughout Clue’s seemingly tense series of events – while crew members curated design elements that contributed to the production’s playful ambiance. Their efforts culminated in a humorous crescendo; leaving their audience enchanted and enthralled.

Senior student Michael Wedding, as Mr. Green, is not a big fan of germs in Milford's production of Clue. Picture provided by Christopher Luessen.

Review by Ali Lewis, Mercy McAuley High School Critic Team

Historic mansions are notorious for having mysterious and cryptic atmospheres, but at the Peterloon Mansion, there was nothing but laughter and smiles thanks to Milford High School’s remarkable production of Clue!

Based off of the beloved board game, Clue follows the story of six colorful suspects as they attend a dinner night orchestrated by a cryptic man called Mr. Boddy. However, instead of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, the only thing on the menu for these characters is blackmail and murder. When the lights go dim, Mr. Boddy ends up dead, leaving it up to the six suspects and the butler, Wadsworth, to determine which of them is the killer. And when undisclosed reputations and dark secrets are at risk of being revealed, it seems as though murder isn’t as unappetizing to any of the six suspects as one may think.

Instead of a typical theater, Milford High School performed this murder mystery in a historic mansion called The Peterloon, and the cast and crew were able to flood the quiet corridors and large ballrooms with laughter and entertainment. Every detail, from the energy of the performers to the intricacy of the technical elements was wonderfully executed, helping the audience become lost in the comically murderous world of Clue.

Acting as the driving force throughout the play, Michael Tidd possessed an undeniable energy through his performance as Wadsworth. Tidd’s ability to inspire endless laughter was unparalleled—but it wasn’t just Tidd’s charisma that made his performance so riveting; his careful attention to mannerisms and a British dialect were the final pieces that painted the perfect picture of the energetically uptight butler that Wadsworth is.

Furthermore, Hailey Walls and Michael Wedding delivered equally astounding performances through their portrayals of Mrs. White and Mr. Green. Walls found the perfect mix of cool composure and dangerous spontaneity that a character like Mrs. White calls for, and this dynamic made every single scene she was in even more comically chaotic. Similarly, Michael Wedding masterfully navigated through the comedic timing of each of his lines, turning every one of his scenes into a hilarious side-splitter. When these actors worked together with each other and with the rest of the six suspects, they formed an ensemble that was unstoppably entertaining.

The talent didn’t end with the cast, however, as the unmatched brilliance of the technical elements elevated the show to even higher heights. Riley Caldwell and Ellie Huhn led the efforts of hair and makeup, and their careful research about the style of cosmetics from the 1950’s created a strong, vintage atmosphere. Riley Caldwell also had notable work through her imaginative costuming. Whether it was as simple as the shade of jewelry or as complex as a tear away shirt, Caldwell made every costume piece representative of every character’s personality…and when this was paired with the hair and makeup, these technical elements created an elegant ambience that was astounding.

A show like Clue might be known for its circuitous plot and twisting turns, but it is no mystery that Milford High School put on a production that was murderously miraculous.

Excerpts From Other Top Reviews

"As Miss Scarlet, Audrey Frilling acted as if the spotlight were on her at all times. Even when the main focus was not on her, she still made her character seen. Whenever she had the chance, Audrey Frilling rolled her eyes in disgust and walk with purpose in every step."

-Gabriel Ater de Lemos, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"Although a part of the main guests, James Holser as Col. Mustard fabulously supported the main action of the show with constant jokes that never seemed to fall flat. His strong southern accent and goofy mannerisms played well off the more serious characters and made him radiate as the comedic relief."

-Kayla Kilgore, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"A large part of this production’s quality were the costumes made by costume designer Riley Caldwell. The costumes were wonderfully detailed down to a letter “m” on Col. Mustard’s tie. Much of this detailed work can be spotted in the costume of Mrs. Peacock as there were numerous peacock feathers dotted around, and a beautiful peacock pin. The ambiance of the show was greatly improved by the props crew of Riley Caldwell and Emily Spiering. Their attention to detail in creating a minimal yet classily dressed set was immensely impressive, down to a historically accurate speaker used in the show."

-Raelynn Chesher, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"Differentiating characters can be difficult, but the cast of Milford High School had no issues. Professor Plum, played by Ahmed Elhaimer, was a strong and witty character. He was constantly in character, no matter what difficulties had arisen. Hailey Walls, as Mrs. White, truly convinced the audience that she was a victim when it came to the murders in the Boddy Manor and the suspicious circumstances of her husband's lives."

-Cadence Lynn, Colerain High School Critic Team

"The costume crew of Riley Caldwell took the audience into the world of this board game. Her meticulous attention to detail and accessories flawlessly composed the characters' personalities. From Miss Scarlet’s jewelry and gloves to the purses each of the characters were wearing, Caldwell’s work expressed the amount of detail required for a costume-heavy show like Clue. Working alongside costumes was the hair and makeup crew of Ellie Huhn and Riley Caldwell. The time-accurate components brilliantly mixed with the bold costume colors of each character."

-Maya DeStazio, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"The supporting cast of Clue brilliantly aided the leads in putting forth the plot. Michael Wedding brilliantly acted in the role of Mr. Green, as he demonstrated the eccentricities of his character to draw suspicion away from himself, which made the final reveal all the more exciting."

-Davis Wickham, Mariemont High School Critic Team

"In a show with many twists, turns, and hilarious moments, Milford High School’s Clue was able to create an engaging performance, evident of the cast and crew’s hard work."

-Lizzy Rebber, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

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