North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre: Nick Karner’s Outrageous Antics as Professor Plum Stole the Show in Clue: The Musical
by Robert W. McDowell
The North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre’s entertaining community-theater presentation of Clue: The Musical, which played Oct. 26-29 and Nov. 2-5 at NRACT in the Greystone Village Shopping Center, was one occasion where the cast was not only allowed but encouraged to chew the scenery, with their hilarious comic caricatures of the familiar characters from the perennially popular board game. And director Michael A. West skillfully orchestrated the silliness, so that a good time was had by all.
This 1997 Off-Broadway musical comedy, with music by Galen Blum, Wayne Barker, and Vinnie Martucci, lyrics by Tom Chiodo, and a book by Peter De Pietro, has 216 possible endings. Many members of last Friday night’s NRACT audience, which played along on a scorecard conveniently printed on the back of their programs, correctly identified the Suspect, Weapon, and Room—all three chosen at the start of the show by three volunteers and secreted in an onstage envelope until the identity of the murderer of the snarky Mr. Boddy (Mike Anderson) was revealed.
Anderson was good as a wealthy and utterly unscrupulous businessman who rubbed all of the other characters the wrong way. That is, all of the other characters except the beautiful dark-haired fedora- and trenchcoat-wearing Detective (Yadira Potter) who investigates the murder.
Yadira Potter, whose husband David served as the show’s percussionist while musical director Carolyn Colquitt sat in on piano, played the exotic beauty with brains with gusto. Sheila Outhwaite was wonderfully wicked as the much-married Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Boddy’s not-so-grieving widow and the widow of five other wealthy men who all willed Mrs. Peacock their fortunes before their unexpected early deaths.
Page Purgar gave a sultry performance as the sexy showgirl Miss Scarlet; David Corns was appropriately officious as the mysterious Colonel Mustard, an obstreperous martinet whose exact military affiliation remains a mystery; Jon Fitts is amusing as Mr. Green, the shady entrepreneur whom Mr. Boddy fleeced in their business dealings; Romni Rossi is funny as Mr. Boddy’s long-suffering maid Mrs. White; and youngsters Katherine Anderson and Leo Brody have cute cameo roles as the dice who set the plot in motion.
But it was Nick Karner who stole the show in NRACT’S version of Clue: The Musical. His outrageous way-over-the-top impersonation of Professor Plum, an insufferably prissy academic know-it-all who careens about the stage on rubber legs, royally entertained the NRACT audience Friday night. Karner mugged shamelessly throughout the production, and his comic facial expressions were worth the price of admission all by themselves.
North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre: http://www.nract.org/ [inactive 4/08]. Clue: The Musical: http://www.cluethemusical.com/.