Bringing Clue to Life: The Journey from Board Game to Stage Mystery


Get ready to play detective, Louisville!


Clue, the board game that has enthralled players since 1949, jumps off the table and onto the stage, bringing a whirlwind of mystery and laughter to The Kentucky Center. From March 5 to 10, the roll of the dice comes to life, and Louisville will be smack in the middle of the action — minus the risk of becoming the next victim, of course!


Since its creation, Clue has not only been a must-have classic in game closets, but it also has made its mark on the silver screen, captivating audiences with a unique blend of suspense and humor.


Now, as the curtain rises, a cast of beloved characters, from the cunning Miss Scarlett to the formidable Col. Mustard, steps into the spotlight.


Yet, it’s Professor Plum, with his blend of intellect, ego, and intrigue, who often steals the show. This fan-favorite character embodies the charm and mystery that Clue fans have come to love over the years.

Jonathan Spivey plays the role of Professor Plum.

A Plum Character: Jonathan Spivey


Jonathan Spivey steps into the shoes of Professor Plum in the touring Broadway production of Clue, transforming an iconic board game character into a living, breathing, and hilariously condescending spectacle on stage. Spivey’s portrayal digs into the heart of Plum, a self-proclaimed genius whose intellect often misses the mark, making him a delightful source of comedy.


“Professor Plum is kind of a classic mansplainer; he believes he’s the smartest person in the room … though often, he isn’t,” Spivey says, describing Plum as a master of the obvious and an egotistically charming psychiatrist, whose own story of how his license got revoked is a mystery within itself.


Spivey, no stranger to the stage or screen, brings a rich background from his Shakespearean training and recent forays into television. He earned his MFA from the Old Globe’s Shakespeare-based program before working on hit shows like “The Gilded Age,” “Blue Bloods,” and “The Blacklist.”


This blend of experiences informs his nuanced approach to Plum, balancing the need for theatrical exuberance with the subtlety learned from TV’s close-ups.


“It took a year for me to learn to verbally do less and be aware of [small details] like my eyebrows,” Spivey says, explaining one of the differences between stage and screen acting. His journey from the grand gestures suited for a 2,500-seat theater to the intimate expressions for television has been a masterclass in versatility, perfectly suiting the multifaceted nature of Clue.

The play itself, as Spivey enthusiastically points out, is “an old-school vaudevillian slapstick farce, cleverly disguised as a murder mystery.” It’s not just about figuring out whodunit; it’s a comedic rollercoaster that pays homage to its film counterpart while standing firmly on its own as a piece of engaging theater.


“It’s filled with adults making fools of themselves for the audience’s pleasure,” he says, ensuring that whether you’re a die-hard fan of the movie or new to the Clue universe, you’re in for a treat.


Spivey’s take on Professor Plum has been an eye-opener for the actor himself. “This whole rehearsal process has been my introduction to this cult classic,” he says, drawing parallels between Clue aficionados and fans of franchises like Star Wars or Star Trek. His newfound respect for the game, the film, and especially the play highlights the universal appeal of a good mystery mixed with uproarious humor.


From the depths of Plum’s deluded intellect to the sprawling, surprise-filled set of Boddy Manor, audiences are invited into a world where comedy and mystery dance hand in hand, led by the unlikely ringleader of this ensemble cast — the not-so-bright, yet endearingly pompous Professor Plum.

A Peek into the Iconic Boddy Manor


Spivey gives us an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the magic that brings Clue to life on stage.


“This production boasts an incredible set by Lee Savage,” he says. “You’ll see a stunning representation of Boddy Manor’s interior, designed like a Victorian wood-paneled house.” He adds that the set is “full of surprises, almost like a pop-up book, revealing new features scene by scene.”


With a dedicated crew of nine or 10, plus local members in each city, the set becomes almost a character in its own right.


Spivey notes the innovative design: “Two set pieces, referred to as ‘bumpers’ or ‘flippers,’ function like a pinball machine, swiveling in and out.” The transitions between scenes are seamless, creating a fluid and engaging experience for the audience.

A Game of Life


Clue stands out as a vibrant example of theater’s unique ability to bring diverse audiences together, offering an escape and a shared night of laughter in times that often feel overwhelmingly divisive.


“Humor and comedy,” Spivey says, “are often underappreciated in the arts, yet they play a crucial role in uniting people.”


Highlighting the communal aspect of live theater, he adds: “In scientific studies, they’ve found that audiences at live theater events breathe together [during crucial scenes], syncing up in a shared experience.”


Clue, and other productions like it, aren’t just about entertainment. They offer a deeply connective experience that reminds us of the importance of gathering together for live performances, something society needs, in the continuing aftermath of the pandemic’s isolation.


From Screen to Stage

For those familiar with the Clue movie, the stage version promises an equally captivating experience, with surprises even for those well-versed in the classic.


“Even if you think you know what Clue is, you’re going to be surprised,” says Spivey. The production honors the original archetypes while infusing them with fresh individuality and artistry.


Don’t miss the chance to experience the laughter, the mystery, and the shared joy of Clue at The Kentucky Center March 5 to 10. Secure your tickets now at or by calling (502) 584-7777.

By Daniel Chioco