Six people representing the characters in Clue are in a library set. Two Black men stand behind the couch. Three white women and a white man sit on the couch. They are all holding weapons associated with the game and the show (knife, rope, candlestick, etc.)
Everyone in the library with everything: the ensemble of Clue at Mercury Theater Chicago Credit: Liz Lauren

The game Clue taught me what “confidential” means, that a conservatory is just a fancy greenhouse, and that Miss Scarlett is always the right choice. Any armchair detective that could identify those little toy weapons in the dark with their eyes closed will enjoy this new stage adaptation of the 1985 movie based on the 1943 game. Mercury Theater’s production of Sandy Ruskin’s adaptation of Jonathan Lynn’s screenplay (which director Lynn created with John Landis) is goofy, slapstick fun. Under L. Walter Stearns’s direction, the 90-minute one-act starts strong, introducing each (literally) colorful character, from Colonel Mustard to Mrs. Peacock, with zany quips and precisely timed comedic physicality. Mr. Green is scared of his own shadow, Professor Plum is predictably pompous, and Mrs. White can’t even, thanks to McKinley Carter’s droll deadpan.

Through 1/1: Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 1 and 5 PM, Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport, 773-360-7365,, $35-$85

Central to the plot and the highlight of the show is Mark David Kaplan as the butler, Wadsworth, conductor of the evening’s “game” and an all-knowing presence at turns both sarcastic and sinister. Supported by a hilarious Tiffany T. Taylor as French maid Yvette, he eye-rolls and stalks his way from room to room of Bob Knuth’s jewel-box set like a puppeteer, reaching peak comedy during his rapid-fire reenactment of the plot points so far, as we approach the show’s conclusion. While the movie famously sent alternate endings to different theaters, the play chooses to address all outcomes sequentially, ratcheting back up the momentum after a bit of a lag midway. Like the game, it’s a good indoor amusement with just enough intrigue to keep you on your toes.