Bruka Theatre’s latest production is “Clue,” a comedic murder mystery based on the board game of the same name as well as the mid-1980’s movie based on the board game.
The Bruka production is written by actor and playwright Sandy Rustin, who adapted the play from the movie’s screenplay by Jonathan Lynn (“My Cousin Vinny,” “Sgt. Bilko”).
The two-hour play – with an intermission – moves quickly. Just as with the movie, “Clue” has a cast of strangers invited to a mansion for a dinner party, but scandal and intrigue quickly become apparent.
At first, nobody knows just why they are invited to a Mr. Boddy’s remote home. They soon realize blackmail is afoot. Each is given a gift of a weapon as well as fake names.
“Though discouraged from revealing personal information, it is soon discovered that all of them have something compromising in common. Will they kill each other or the innocent butler?” That’s what Bruka asks on its website.
Bodies quickly start to appear.
No one knows who is killing whom, but murder upon murder keeps occurring. When Boddy’s body is discovered, the characters get even more silly, paranoid and ominous.
The plot moves so quickly it is at times difficult to follow – the actors, however, don’t miss a beat and seamlessly move from scene to scene. Some of the main cast of nine local actors are literally sweating by the end.
Verbal puns are sprinkled throughout the script and may be easy to miss, making a repeat visit to the show also worthwhile.
The actors shine in this Reno version. Butler Wadsworth, played by Michael Davanzo, is hilariously overconfident and pedantic and gets most of the time in the spotlight.
How does it end? We can’t, and won’t, say. But the ending is perhaps less important than how the cast gets there. Expect campy characters, good-natured mayhem, a lot of laughs and a production that will appeal to most all.
Disclosure: This Is Reno’s newsletter editor Darcy Lenardson is a local actor and stars in this play as Mrs. Peacock.
Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn
Written by Sandy Rustin
Directed by Mary Bennett
Actors and crew
- Michael Davanzo as Wadsworth
- Madeline Bennett as Yvette
- Tianna Bennetto as Miss Scarlet
- Darcy Lenardson as Mrs. Peacock
- Amber Teen as Mrs. White
- Dave Richards as Colonel Mustard
- Nick Farrow as Professor Plum
- Gage Bailie as Mr. Green
- Kristopher Perez as Mr. Boddy
- Ensemble: Kristina Hamlin, Colten Ward, Charlie Erhart-Chappell, Luis Galvez
- June 10 through July 17, 2022
- General: $28 per person
- Senior, student, military: $24 per person
- Door: $30
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.