Grosse Pointe Theatre’s “Clue: On Stage” merges suspense with laughs.

Grosse Pointe Theatre’s “Clue: On Stage” merges suspense with laughs.

Photo provided by Grosse Pointe Theatre

Grosse Pointe Theatre keeps audiences guessing — and giggling — with ‘Clue’

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 22, 2023

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — March madness has a different meaning for Grosse Pointe Theatre this year.

GPT will be treating audiences to murder, mirth and mayhem — not basketball — with a production of “Clue: On Stage” March 2 to 12 in the auditorium at Parcells Middle School in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Inspired by the Hasbro board game and based on the 1985 movie, “Clue: On Stage” explores the murder of Mr. Boddy at Boddy Manor in the midst of a dinner party, leading a cast of quirky characters to try to figure out who the killer is.

“As a child, I always loved playing the game,” director Olyvia O’Donnell, of Grosse Pointe Farms, said in a press release. “Finding out the correct combination (of murder weapon and suspect) was always so satisfying. When the opportunity came along to direct ‘Clue,’ I knew I had to jump on it. The idea of being able to work together with my cast and investigate questions together like, ‘Who grabbed the revolver and shot Mr. Boddy?’ or ‘Did Mrs. White actually kill all of her husbands?’ It was thrilling!”

In an email interview, O’Donnell said the play is set in a home not far from Washington, D.C., in 1954, on a dark and stormy night.

“The setting helps set the mood, influence the way characters behave, affect the dialog and reflects the society in which the characters live,” O’Donnell said.

It’s not exactly a whodunit in the Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes model, though.

“This is an hour and a half of mystery and laughs!” O’Donnell said. “I would say it is more of a (zany) whodunit.”

“Clue” marks O’Donnell’s directorial debut with GPT, after serving as apprentice director for GPT’s production last year of “The Sound of Music.”

O’Donnell wanted to avoid letting the show become ridiculous by getting the actors to ground their characters as real people.

“‘Clue’ straddles goofy and dark comedy,” O’Donnell said. “The silly jokes, physical humor and awkwardness perfectly mix realism and absurdity. There are too many witty one-liners to list, and it is a good old-fashioned murder mystery.”

It helps that O’Donnell has experienced actors like Nick Marinello, of Mount Clemens, who plays Wadsworth. In an email interview, Marinello said Wadsworth is “the consummate English butler” but also someone with “his own secrets.”

“Audiences can expect a fast-paced, witty, tight show performed by a very talented group of actors,” Marinello said. “That has been the real joy of the process, being able to play opposite such talented and giving actors. The show has great throwbacks to both the movie and the board game. If you ever sat up on a Friday game night and played Clue, you will love how this is brought to life on the stage.”

Like O’Donnell, Marinello has a long-standing connection to this show.

“I have been a fan of this movie for as long as I can remember,” Marinello said. “It was a film that I saw as a kid in the early ’90s, so I caught it after it had become a cult classic. It’s a movie I can quote from extensively, and getting the chance to play this iconic role was too good to pass up. Plus, the show is hilarious. It is the classic whodunit and has such an iconic place in American culture.”

After directing and handling other behind-the-scenes responsibilities for GPT in recent years, Marinello is excited to be back on the stage.

The cast also includes Hannah Roth as Yvette, Ashley Wickett-Lane as Miss Scarlett, Lynnie Heinemann as Mrs. Peacock, Meg Berger as Mrs. White, Dominic Aldini as Colonel Mustard, Justin Bradley as Professor Plum, Kevin Fitzhenry as Mr. Green and Domingo Guzman as Mr. Boddy, with Daniel Gauthier and Maria LaRose in the ensemble.

“Clue: On Stage” should offer audiences a welcome respite from the often-gloomy days of late winter in Michigan.

“Grosse Pointe Theatre is celebrating 75 Years … and is going strong,” O’Donnell said. “GPT has been providing wonderful theater for Southeast Michigan customers since 1948, and we continue to delight audiences with our blend of musicals, dramas and comedies. ‘Clue’ is no different. Audiences can expect an hour and a half of mystery and comedy. I think they should use this as an opportunity to just have fun and escape.”

Parcells Middle School is located at 20600 Mack Ave., at the corner of Mack and Vernier Road. For tickets or more information, call the GPT box office at (313) 881-4004 or visit