Get a Clue!
M-CHS presents a mystery to chew on
Sam Green/Cortez Journal Mr. Green, played by Brock Belt, checks out a bottle of wine while Mr. P
This is the week Montezuma-Cortez High School theater group presents “Clue”, the classic who-done-it murder mystery in a dinner-theater format.
The student cast will mix it up with the audience during the performance, which will take place within an elaborate set that surrounds diners built inside the gym.
Throughout the show breaks will provide an opportunity to serve up a three-course meal, featuring homemade lasagna, salad, and desert. The meal is food-for-thought as the audience ponders who of several guests, locked in a Gothic mansion, killed Mr. Boddy in this cult classic featuring blackmail, deceit, and undercover police investigations.
“‘Clue’ is a different theater experience for us because it breaks the ‘fourth wall’ meaning the actors get to interact with the audience,” said junior Kaylee Brinkerhoff, aka, “the scandalous” Miss Scarlett.
This is the first dinner theater performance for the student actors. The scenes will take place in 13 sets situated around the dining audience. The different approach is more entertaining for the students and the audience.
“Usually the actor kind of ignores the audience, and they watch the performance like a movie,” says Brinkerhoff. “In ‘Clue,’ we will talk with them, ask them what they think. It makes it more interesting and fun!”
Spoiler Alert: The script is based off of the 1985 comedy, but Brinkerhoff is likely correct that most of the younger generation has not seen it, and older folks have probably forgotten.
“It will be a total shocker for the audience, the young and older,” she adds.
For Amanda Kill, performing as French maid Yvette, the unique interacting format gives the play more energy.
“It’s a more exciting type of theater. We’ll be filling your water and asking what you think. Then at the end the audience decides on one of three possible endings of who committed the murder.”
Director and theater teacher Angela Gabarti says the students deserve a lot of credit for tackling a difficult play.
“The lines are hard because it is fast-paced comedy, but they have been doing very well. They have brought a lot of creative flair to their characters,” she said. “The mystery has some surprise twists.”
The majority of the 20 students in “Clue” also are lead actors for the upcoming “Peter Pan” performance that will take place mid-November.
“So they’re doing two shows right now which is a lot of work, but they are doing an amazing job,” Gabarti said. “It is a privilege to work with these kids and see how they support each other.”
“The cast taught me my French accent,” Yvette adds. “Them and YouTube.”
M-CHS has earned a reputation for excellent special effects and artistic set building. “Clue” features 13 different platform stages, and one in the middle.
“It is very abstract, with a lot of artwork. Because the play is in the gym, the set goes up the day of the show, so that is a good skill kids learn as well,” Gabarti said.
The theater group is very welcoming. From the moment a student volunteers to participate, they become part of a family.
“I recommend it because there is a lot of acceptance, and its really fun,” Kill says. “You don’t have to be a good actor or a good singer. There is a lot of different ways to participate.”
Adds Brinkerhoff: “We are a close family. We love each other and really support one another.”
“Clue” will show Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Montezuma-Cortez High School gymnasium. There will be a silent auction and appetizers at 6 p.m., and the play and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are limited. They can be purchased this week at the high school after 4:30 p.m. in the commons room.
Sam Green/Cortez Journal Joshua Horneff, who plays Wadsworth, and Brock Belt, Mr. Green, draw pi