Lyric Theatre's 'Clue' opens Friday in Brownwood for two-weekend run

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Dinner guests in the Brownwood Lyric Theatre’s production of “Clue” strain to hear the conversation between their host, Mr. Boddy, and his butler Wadsworth. The murder mystery comedy opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lyric Theatre downtown. A total of eight shows are scheduled this weekend and next weekend. Pictured listening from left to right are Professor Plum (Levi Packer), Mr. Green (Paul Underwood), Colonel Mustard (Joe Dennis), Mrs. Peacock (Kandice Harris), Mrs. White (Valerie Nelson), and Miss Scarlet (Cassia Rose). Meanwhile, Wadsworth (Jonathan Harvey) discusses the evening’s proceedings with Mr. Boddy (Ryan McCormick), who holds a briefcase with evidence used for blackmail. To ensure audience distancing, tickets must be reserved in advance at www.brownwoodlyrictheatre.com.

The Lyric Theatre’s production of the murder mystery “Clue” opens with a 7:30 p.m. performance Friday, Feb. 19, a show that brings veteran director Larry Mathis’ storied career with the Lyric to an end.

Mathis and his wife, Terri, will move later this year to the Georgetown area to be near other family members. He said they are moving to the retirement community of Sun City.

"Clue" will feature eight performances over the final two weekends of February.

Mathis, who retired in 2014 as theatre director at Brownwood High School, has been involved with the Lyric for about 15 years. In addition to directing a dozen or more plays, Mathis has performed in plays and been heavily involved in set design.

Larry Mathis

“As far as it being my last show, it’s certainly bittersweet,” Mathis said by phone Wednesday afternoon. “The Lyric’s been a part of what I do for 15 years or so. I’m certainly going to miss the theatre itself, miss all the camaraderie of all the different casts that you have.

“Each one of them has obviously been unique to itself. You don’t ever have the same cast twice. You may have some individual cast members in a play that you’ve had before, but each cast is a cast to its own, and this one has been a terrific cast. I’m looking forward to putting the show on for the public.”

“Clue” is a comedic whodunnit, based on the popular board game and the cult classic film. 

“ … You've been invited to a very unusual dinner party,” the synopsis on the Lyric Theatre’s website states. “Each of the guests has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well ... dead. So whodunnit?” 

Mathis said this week’s winter weather made it a challenge to have final rehearsals.

“The show itself is going really, really well,” Mathis said. “It’s certainly been a challenge with the weather because we have cast members who live in the city, at the lake, in the county, and trying to get everybody together with ice issues has been a little difficult. But we’ve worked around it. We’ve done some zoom rehearsals. We’ve done rehearsals with not everyone there and managed to somehow or another pull it together.”

Mathis said the community is “exceptionally blessed” to have the quality of performers who are part of the Lyric Theatre.

In some community theatres, performers are paid, Mathis noted.

“Here, that is not true,” Mathis said. “They’re doing this simply as a community service and because they love it. They love the camaraderie that goes on in the cast. They love performing. They love the presentation, the art of it. And so they do it just because they love to do it, with nothing in it for them but the applause of the audience. And that means a lot to them.”

Mathis, 68, said he may get involved in theatre in his new community after he and his wife get settled and acclimated.

“Sun City does have an amphitheater, and I may get involved in that,” Mathis said.

He said his involvement could include directing, acting and set design —“any aspect that they would allow me to share in,” Mathis said.

Speaking again of the Lyric Theatre, Mathis urged the community to continue its support.

“We have a little gem right in the middle of downtown Brownwood that needs to be taken advantage of,” Mathis said. “Folks need to come to the theatre. And there’s some great restaurants springing up all around the Lyric that allows them to eat or go out for an evening drink after the show.

“It’s just a big part of who Brownwood is now. It should continue to be supported. I will definitely miss it a great deal, but at the same time looking forward to what the future holds in our move.”

“Clue” schedule

• Friday, Feb. 19 — 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Feb. 20 — 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

• Sunday, Feb. 21 — 2:30 p.m.

• Friday, Feb. 26 — 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Feb. 27 — 7:30 p.m.

• Sunday, Feb. 28 — 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at brownwoodlyrictheatre.com