Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "Clue"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"Sorry, Wrong Number"
and "Clue"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current shows at Company Theatre are a double billing of "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "Clue". The former show is set in 1948 and stars Tracy Nygard as the alluring, wealthy and overbearing Mrs. Stevenson, a hypochondriac whose psychosomatic illness has her bedridden. Her only lifeline is the telephone, which she uses to excess. One evening as she impatiently tries to locate her husband, due to a crossed wire, she hears plans for a murder. Her frantic efforts to enlist help through the only means at her disposal, her growing terror and realization of the truth. The play also shows many personality vignettes of the outside world, including a couple of gangsters, five phone operators, a police sergeant, lunch room attendant, hospital receptionist and a Western Union delivery boy. Clue, the play is a farce-whodunnit-cocktail-party-turned-multiple homicides that will leave you guessing. It is a stage adaptation of the popular Parker Brothers board game. On a dark and stormy evening in 1952, Wadsworth the butler, and Yvette the maid, welcome six politically-vulnerable and pseudonym-ed guests (Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock) to a swanky mansion for a mysterious cocktail party. Wadsworth reveals they have all been gathered to confront their blackmailer, the enigmatic Mr. Body. A shot in the dark and Mr. Body's body leave them all with a new problem; they must discover which one of them is the killer before the police arrive. Multiple murders occur and the six unusual suspects have to figure out the answer to those three burning questions: Who did it? Where? And with what? "Sorry, Wrong Number" is a mystery thriller with many laughs during it and is directed by Lisa Rafferty while "Clue", the hysterical farce is directed by Michael Hammond. Both directors do a fantastic job with each of their shows and they have been blessed by having awesome performers for each of their shows. The acting prowess of everyone is of the highest caliber. making this double feature a superlative evening out.

Lisa creates an atmosphere of an old black and white movie for "Sorry, Wrong Number". The main set is Mrs. Stevenson's bedroom with a free standing window complete with blowing drapes, while there is an operators switchboard on stage left. The orchestra pit is used for the police station scene while the gangsters and the other phone calls are done with individual spots on them. (Matt Guminski does the lighting for both shows and it is astounding as usual as is the gorgeous two story mansion set for "Clue" designed by Zoe Bradford.) Tracy Nygard gives a tour-de-force performance as the petulant invalid who's ill-tempered treatment of the people she speaks to on the phone that she needs to help her, gets her into a tragic situation. Mrs. Stevenson isn't a patient woman and Tracy captures the essence of her spoiled behavior perfectly. The supporting cast of characters do a wonderful job with their roles, too. Eric Braun and Robert Case are the two gangsters, Theresa Chaisson, Marsha Lehane, Jamie Poskitt, Cinda Donovan and Susan Waterman are the operators, Stephanie Gallagher is the hospital receptionist, Chris DiOrio is the donut eating dumb cop, Matthew Maggio is the Lunch Room Attendant and Marc Ewart who built the sets for both shows is the Western Union man. So for a good old fashioned melodrama, be sure to see this show.

Michael Hammond infuses "Clue" with a fantastic variety of comic performances that will leave you laughing all night long. The shtick of this farce is superlative.From the hilarious invisible squeaking front door to the constant running in and out of all the nine rooms and secret passageways, the thunder and lightning poses by the cast and a short black and white film at the end to reveal the killer. (The show has three different endings so if you tell a friend whodunnit, it won't be the same killer.) During the dinner Wadsworth reveals that each one of the guests are being blackmailed and when the seventh guest, Mr. Body appears, it is revealed he is the blackmailer. Mr. Body hands each of the guests a box, containing a weapon. He tries to convince them to kill Wadsworth or be exposed. A shot is fired but who really gets killed? James Tallach commands the stage as Wadsworth, the butler. He runs in and out of every room at rapid speed while delivering a multitude of dialogue. Yvette, the sexy, French maid is well played by Susan Waterman. She has secrets to hide as do all the guests. The guests and suspects are Colonel Mustard ( who constantly sobs into the woman's breasts played by Christopher Hagberg), Mrs. White ( the gorgeous, buxom Christine Joyce who gets to strut her stuff) Mrs. Peacock ( the lovely raven haired Juliana Dennis who wears the most hilarious blue costume complete with feathered headdress ), Mr. Green ( Frank Piekut who gets thrown around the stage by Wadsworth during the recap of the murders), Miss Scarlet ( the lovely brunette, Kristen Lynn Hall who is clad in a bright red full length gown) and Professor Plum (Dan Delaporta who is a shrink with a lusty past). All six of them are hilarious in their roles especially when they strike different poses during the storm. They each have their moments to shine during the show. Telling anymore of their characters would give away too much of the plot. Rounding out the cast as the dastardly Mr. Body is Robert Case who played the villain in both shows wonderfully, Matthew Maggio plays three different roles of the motorist, the cop and the chief (his pratfalls are excellent) and Jamie Poskit as Mrs. Ho, the cook and the Singing Telegram. (She gets thrown around the stage quite a bit and has black and blue marks as proof.) So for a side splitting farce that will have you in stitches for the entire hour and ten minutes, be sure to catch "Clue" at Company Theatre.

"Sorry, Wrong Number" and "Clue" (12 - 28 October)
THE COMPANY THEATRE
30 Accord Park Drive, NORWELL MA
1 (781) 871-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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