Hasbro's board game CLUE®
is played in over 70 countries. It is the world's second most popular board game, second only to Monopoly. The game's premise—whodunit, in what room, with what weapon— and colorful suspects—Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White and Mr. Green—are iconic, making CLUE®
one of the most beloved mystery games of all time. It has been a pop culture staple for decades.
The game was created in 1944 in a village on the English countryside by musician Anthony Pratt. He called the game CLUEDO. It was first produced commercially in 1949 by a British company called Wadingtons and later licensed in the United States to Parker Brothers, which subsequently merged with Hasbro. In the United States and most countries around the world the game is called as CLUE®
. To date, over 100 million board games have been sold.
The game has been the basis for a Hollywood film, several television shows, digital entertainments, and a series of live stage productions, including the U.S. National CLUE®
Tournament in 1991, the CLUE®
World Championship in 1993, and CLUE®
The Musical in 1995.
In 1993 Manhattan Rep Company — Tom Chiodo and Peter DePietro, principals — produced the first-ever CLUE®
World Championship in New York City. This event was a culmination of two years of national tournaments around the globe, including the 1991 U.S. National CLUE®
Tournament, which Manhattan Rep Company also produced. In the National Tournament, the CLUE®
characters were brought to life in a theatrical event for the first time in the Western Hemisphere.
Thousands of players had competed internationally to be one of six finalists in the CLUE®
World Championship. During the three-day event, the finalists interacted with the CLUE®
characters in a life-sized mystery, set in an East Side Manhattan mansion. The finalists were tasked with solving the mystery by assembling clues presented in dialogue and song, working out motive and questioning the delightfully suspicious antics of the suspects.
As part of the festivities, New York City's Mayor David Dinkins wrote a letter
to producers Tom Chiodo and Peter DePietro congratulating them for bringing their "intriguing production" to New York City. This theatrical and engaging version of CLUE®
would become the foundation of CLUE®
The Musical years later.
The Musical is the only official, live stage entertainment based on an internationally popular game. While there are stage shows that use games as inspiration, none bring a game to life in such an authentic way like CLUE ®
The Musical. Since its world premier in 1995, the musical has been produced for over 20 years in over 500 cities around the globe. Like the board game, the musical has developed a devoted fan base, who always look forward to the curtain going up on the next production.
In 1995 CLUE®
The Musical had its world premier in Baltimore, Maryland, a city where artistic innovation is part of the cultural fabric. The show was part of professional theater season, not a tryout for New York City, as erroneously stated in the unauthorized Wikipedia posting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clue_(musical)
The world premiere was enormously successuful and received wonderful reviews. The Baltimore Sun
, the city's major daily newspaper, said, "Musical CLUE makes good moves. The creators have improved upon the game and found the clue to CLUE." The Herald Gazette
proclaimed "Superb! Terrific!" WBAL-TV, NBC's television network affliate, called it "effervescent fun on stage." And theatre critic R. Brazwell wrote "CLUE The Musical is the height of originality and achievement from concept to design."
In 1996 CLUE®
The Musical opened in Chicago, the United States' third largest city and one with a rich theatre history. Originally planned for a ten-week run, the show was extended numerous times. Ultimately, it ran for over a year at the Organic Theater and won the title of Chicago's "musical sensation." It was a stand-alone production, not a tryout for New York City, as erroneoulsy stated in the unauthorized Wikipedia posting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clue_(musical)
In Chicago CLUE®
The Musical became a favorite of audiences and critics. WOR called the show "an absolute delight." The Chicago Tribune, the city's largest newspaper, said, "CLUE has guts... along with intrigue." The critic for WKRS said, "Great. I loved it. Wonderful fun!" And syndicated columnist S. Feiler wrote that CLUE was "the first really new and creative musical to come along in a long time."
As a long-running hit in Chicago, CLUE®
The Musical became of an important part of the city's cultural scenes. The show's creators and its cast frequently were guests at high-profile events. One noteable event was the singing of the national anthem at Wrigley Field before a baseball game with the famous Chicago Cubs.
In 1997 CLUE®
The Musical opened Off Broadway in New York City at the Players Theater. The members of the creative team and cast included celebrated artists from Broadway, Hollywood and network television. In New York City the musical reached new heights with a production that was more entertaining and interactive than previous ones. More than ever before, audiences were engaged with the comedic antics of the colorful suspects, catchy tunes, clever lyrics, intricate choreography, polished performances and a creative theatrical setting that immersed audiences members, young and old alike, in a life-sized version of the game.
All of this proved to be a winning concept. The New York Times
called the show "A good choice," and said that it had "real humor, fabulous costumes and a charming cast." Variety
, one of the most respected papers in the entertainment industry, described it as "saucy, bright and loony." And the Associated Press said the show was "fun, peppy and stylish."
The live stage characters became the darlings of the New York City media, appearing on Fox and NBC television and as the subject of feature articles in premier periodicals like Backstage
With the update of CLUE The Musical, there is still singing, dancing and lots of laughs. But there is also a mobile app that allows audience members to play along on their smart phones, making CLUE an entertainment experience like no other.
Curtain up. Phone on.
It's CLUE The Musical for a new generation of theater goers!