“It was a dark and stormy night … “. Well, not really. It was a drizzly recent spring morning in New Hope, PA. The press corps was invited to the Parry Mansion to meet the cast and director of the world premiere of Clue: On Stage which opens the Bucks County Playhouse season. Based upon the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, Eric Price and Director Hunter Foster have adapted the screenplay for the stage. Many may remember the film, and the popular game. Rest assured, you will be guessing the outcome of this murder mystery.
We heard from Hunter Foster, Alexander Fraser, and Sally Struthers, who will lead the accomplished cast in the role of Mrs. Peacock. I had the chance to sit down and talk with cast member Carson Elrod, who plays Wadsworth.
Ralph Malachowski: Who is Wadsworth, the character you play, and why is he important?
Carson Elrod: I play Wadsworth the butler who was invented for the movie. Tim Curry played the role I will be assuming in this stage production. Wadsworth doles out revelatory bits of information throughout the play.
RM: Then, Wadsworth is rather like the Emcee in Cabaret, who keeps the storyline going.
CE: Well … yes! In a way he is, I suppose.
RM: How is Clue: On Stage different from the film or the game?
CE: Well, the title really lays it all out. Clue: On Stage is rewritten for this production, so fans of the movie and the game will be surprised. There will be different turns and different situations which will keep the audience guessing to the end. However, the characters are still basically the same, so no one should be disappointed that their favorite character is missing, or that characters have been radically changed.
RM: Have you ever worked at Bucks County Playhouse? What is it like to work there?
CE: I’ve never worked here before. It is rather like a blind date every time I take a role in a new place I’ve never been. I asked around to find out what working here would be like. I am happy to say that everyone I spoke to had glowing reports about Bucks County Playhouse. So far, I love the place and the people. Their ringing endorsements really rang true. This production is so extravagant. The set design will knock the socks off the audience.
RM: What’s next for you after Clue: On Stage?
CE: I’m busy with a few projects after this one. I have an interesting appearance with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood where I am Felix Mendelssohn. As part of their performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m in character and I read parts of Shakespeare. It should be wonderful. I’m also scheduled to appear in the Metropolitan Opeara production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow in the role of Negush, the assistant attaché to the nation of Ponte Vedra.
I’m lucky in that being an actor, life can go from fasting to feasting, so I’m enjoying the feast while I can.
RM: Researching you and your roles, I noticed an interesting picture of you in character, covered in tribal paint. What production was that?
CE: You must be speaking about my role as the Outsider in the Explorer’s Club. It was a fantastic role in a great play. It was brilliant. I would appear in it again in a heartbeat.
RM: Well … The Bucks County Playhouse is looking for the last play of the season. Would you like to do it here?
CE: Absolutely! That would be great.
RM: I note that you aren’t wearing a wedding ring, so that means you’re single. Would you mind if dozens of admirers clamor about the stage door offering you Franklins and U.S. Savings Bonds in large denominations?
CE: (Laughing) Now that’s something no one has ever asked me! I would gladly accept these wonderful fans and their presents.
Clue: On Stage is at the Bucks County Playhouse at 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA, May 2 through May 20. There will be an LGBT night on Tuesday, May 9. For information and tickets, call 215- 862-2121 or visit www.buckscountyplayhouse.org
Unleash the stories of top LGBTQ figures fighting for change and making lasting impressions increase in society.