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Mystery and comedy are afoot as CCHS presents ‘Clue’

By James Grob,

Six “colorful” guests arrive at a deserted mansion in New England. A formal British butler, a French maid and an unusually-intense cook are there to meet them, and serve them dinner.

Someone is murdered — and all of them are suspects.

None of them has a “Clue.”

The Charles City High School drama department will present the 2019 CCHS spring play on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, at the North Grand Building. The play will be the mystery/comedy, “Clue.”

“Clue” is based on the movie of the same name, which was based on the popular board game. The play is a farcical “whodunit.”

The Friday show will be at 7 p.m. while the Saturday show will be at 2 p.m. Directors are Michelle Grob and Mike Lembke.

“Clue is really fun,” said sophomore Cade Williams, who is playing the role of Professor Plum. “It’s a bunch of different personalities coming together, and it’s a murder mystery.”

Williams said he enjoys comic mysteries, which was why he auditioned for a part in the play — the first time he’s ever tried out.

“I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but when I auditioned it was a lot of fun, and I’ve had a lot of fun since we’ve started,” he said.

Williams said he remembers playing the board game when he was younger. Memories of the game were what intrigued Grob, the director, into selecting the play for production in Charles City.

“I wanted to base my interpretation of this show on the board game,” Grob said. “I grew up playing it and always love the suspense and the challenge of figuring out who did it.”

She said that costumes, props and the set were intentionally designed to have clean lines, to highlight the six colors that are associated with the game, and the eight rooms.

Grob said she was excited about presenting a show that has a professional music and sound effects track, that includes gun shots, dogs barking, footsteps, thunder, creepy organ music and crazy chase scene music.

“It adds a fun dimension to the show,” she said. “Our sound people need to be on their toes for this show.”

According to Grob, practices for the play began in late February, although several were missed because of all of the snow days.

“The cast has been great about being flexible and adding new practice dates, including using one of their early outs,” she said. “The middle school pushed their show back due to missed practices, which resulted in us not being able to be on the stage or build sets until Mar. 25. With opening night on April 12, that is a tough situation.”

Grob said the show is good for upper elementary students to adults, with a lot of slapstick comedy and quirky lines and puns.

Williams said he was having a lot of fun interpreting the character of Professor Plum.

“Professor Plum is a former psychiatric professor, who really thinks a lot of himself,” Williams said. “He thinks all the women like him, but he’s not as smooth as he thinks.”

Junior Jacie Wink is also enjoying the role of the flamboyant Mrs. Peacock.

“It’s definitely a crazy character to try to pursue, but it’s been really fun. She’s all over the place,” Wink said. “There’s a lot of lines where I’m hysterical, and I also have to talk in a southern accent, because I’m from Tennessee. That’s been really fun to play around with.”

The rest of the cast members are Ruby Peterson as Wadsworth, Cael Ruzicka as Mr. Green, Griffin Franksain as Col. Mustard, Olivia Wolfe as Miss Scarlet, Ella Rogstad as Mrs. White, Jennah Bahl as Yvette, Nathan Shultz as Mr. Boddy, Christian Howe as the Cop, Anastasia Baldus as the Cook, Sincere Collins as the Motorist, McKenna Oleson as the Singing Telegram Girl, and Rosie Baldus, Kiarra Mashek, Lily Woodard, Emily Woodard and Eliza Wolford as FBI Agents.

Grob said that several of the main roles are being played by less veteran actors.

Wink said, “We have a great cast, and we have a very good dynamic on the stage, and it’s so much fun being with these people every night. It never feels like I’m going to something that I’m dreading.”

For the crew, students on lights are Isaiah Ortiola and Tyrell Baglon, with Anna Herbrechtsmeyer and Hannah DeVore on spots. Sound technicians are Harley Onken and Kylie Effle.

Kristin George is stage manager, and the stage crew includes Jackie Rutherford, Matthew Hammond, Aliya Rodemaker, Brandon Ignacio-Castillo, Deven Ignacio-Castillo, Michael Reh and Katie Schwickerath.

Tickets will be available at the door, and the cost will be $5 for students and $8 for adults. Whether the mystery is ultimately solved or not, the actors in the play said that “Clue” will be worth the price of admission.

“It’s really going to be a fun time. There are a lot of laughs,” Williams said.

“It’s going to be so funny,” Wink added. “It’s going to be such a fun show to watch.”