From ‘Clue’ to ‘Something Rotten,’ comedies take center stage

Photo by Brandy Joe Plambeck “Clue,” the cult-classic comedy, moves from the screen to the Ringwald stage Oct. 5 to Nov. 5, with (clockwise from upper left) Inney Prakash as Professor Plum, Sydney Lepora as Miss Scarlet, Suzan M. Jacokes as Mrs. White, Tim Kay as Colonel Mustard, Melissa Beckwith as Yvette, Richard Payton as Mr. Green, Donny Riedel as Wadsworth and Joe Bailey as Mrs. Peacock. For tickets or more information, call 248-545-5545 or go to TheRingwald.com.

Photo by Brandy Joe Plambeck
“Clue,” the cult-classic comedy, moves from the screen to the Ringwald stage Oct. 5 to Nov. 5, with (clockwise from upper left) Inney Prakash as Professor Plum, Sydney Lepora as Miss Scarlet, Suzan M. Jacokes as Mrs. White, Tim Kay as Colonel Mustard, Melissa Beckwith as Yvette, Richard Payton as Mr. Green, Donny Riedel as Wadsworth and Joe Bailey as Mrs. Peacock. For tickets or more information, call 248-545-5545 or go to TheRingwald.com.

From a campy board game-based movie turned stage farce, to a new musical comedy premised on playwrights trying to compete with Shakespeare, local theaters will soon be filled with laughter.

“Clue,” the whodunit rainy day game of an era less dominated by video games, takes on life-size dimensions as it moves to the stage for audience viewing pleasure at the Ringwald Theater.

The show runs at 8 p.m. Oct. 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 26, 27 and 29, and Nov. 2, 3 and 5, and 5 p.m. Sept. 28 and Nov. 4 at the Ringwald, 22742 Woodward, Ferndale.

Jonathan Lynn, director and co-screenwriter of the 1985 movie “Clue,” collaborated on the stage play to use the familiar and quotable wordplay familiar to fans of the movie with some new twist and tricks to intrigue audiences.
The story, set, of course, on a “dark and stormy night,” features six “colorful” characters, plus a butler, maid and cook. After the champagne is uncorked, the host is discovered dead, and blackmail is revealed, which makes the scene unsafe for everyone. As more guests fall prey to murder, the remaining guests must race against time to determine “whodunit” – and where, and with what weapon.

Directed by Joe Bailey and Bryan Lark, the cast includes Melissa Beck as Yvette, Suzan M. Jacokes as Mrs. White, Tim Kay as Colonel Mustard, Sydney Lepora as Miss Scarlet, Shane Nelson as Mr. Boddy and the cop, Richard Payton as Mr. Green, Inney Prakash as Professor Plum, Donny Riedel as Wadsworth, Gretchen Schock as the cook and the motorist, and Joe Bailey as Mrs. Peacock.

Tickets are $25 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, with $10 Monday performances. To order, or for more information, call 248-545-5545 or go to TheRingwald.com.

‘SOMETHING ROTTEN!’ HEADED TO THE FISHER THEATER

What do you do when you’re a Renaissance playwright overshadowed by Shakespeare? You try to find a way to win back your audience, even if it means consulting with a less-than-reliable fortune teller, the nephew of Nostradamus. When he predicts that musicals will be the next big thing in staged shows, they are skeptical but open to the possibilities.

The show runs 8 p.m. Sept. 25 to 29, and Oct. 2 to 6; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 7; and 2 p.m. Sept. 29 and 30, and Oct. 6 and 7 at the Fisher Theater, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit.

What follows is a cavalcade of characters with names recognizable from Shakespeare’s plays, as well as comic references, and an ode to musical theater as modern audiences know it, engaging the house with humor, song and dance.

Some of the humor is at the expense of Shakespeare, while other laughs are drawn from modern day musicals, including “Rent,” “Cats,” “A Chorus Line,” “Chicago,” “Les Misérables” and “Annie.”

John O’Farrell, who wrote the dialogue, said the show was crafted to be appealing even to those who don’t know the Shakespearean or musical theater references.

“If it works as a musical for people who don’t know musicals or Shakespeare, then I’m happy,” he said. “It’s about show business and putting on a show. The show works on many levels, but the main level it works on, I hope, is that it’s just a great fun night out.”

Tickets start at $35, and are available at the Fisher Theater box office and through Ticketmaster. To order, call 800-982-2787 or go to BroadwayInDetroit.com or Ticketmaster.com.