Shear Madness OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Termine
  • NY TIMES

  • HR

  • HUFFPOST

Opening Night:
November 11, 2015
Closing:
April 23, 2017

Theater: Davenport Theatre / 354 W. 45th St., New York, NY 10036

Synopsis: 

America’s longest running comedy finally comes to New York! Set in an upscale hair salon, this hilarious whodunit is filled with up-to-the-minute humor and nail-biting suspense.''

The madness erupts at your not-so-typical New York hair salon, when suddenly the old lady upstairs gets mysteriously murdered and everyone’s dying to know whodunit? The audience combs through the clues, questioning the suspects like a bona fide "Shearlock Holmes." And the best part? It’s different every time you see it!

It's been voted "Best Comedy of the Year" eight times in Boston and "Best Play of the Year" in both Chicago and Philadelphia. It’s even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running play in the history of the USA. Now, at long last, Shear Madness has made its long-awaited, first-ever arrival in New York.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Shear Madness

    ‘Shear Madness,’ Where Getting a Haircut Is Murder

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    November 11, 2015: Only $30 for a woman’s haircut at a Manhattan salon? That’s what they charge at Shear Madness, a wacky little shop that’s just opened on West 50th Street, though it looks as if it had been there forever. The walls are baby blue, the floor is linoleum, and isn’t that a ficus tree in the corner, over near the exposed brick? What year is this again? You can’t necessarily tell from the banter of the puckish owner, Tony; his gum-chomping stylist, Barbara; or the customers who filter in and out. Sure, there’s a slightly crude Kardashian joke and a mention of Perez Hilton, which at least put us in the past decade or so. Then someone mixes up Cathy Rigby and Eleanor Rigby, and you have to wonder if time has stopped. But the audience at “Shear Madness” on the night I saw it, at New World Stages, loved the Rigby joke, and that’s probably why it’s still in the show, an astonishingly durable interactive murder mystery that’s been running in Boston since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. Which may explain Will Cotton’s set design.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Shear Madness

    'Shear Madness': Theater Review

    Frank Scheck

    November 11, 2015: The interactive comic whodunnit set in a hair salon finally arrives in NYC after running for decades in such cities as Boston and Washington, D.C. It's hard to imagine why theater-loving tourists still come to New York when we seem so intent on delivering the same product they can get at home. Case in point: Shear Madness, the interactive, comic murder mystery that's become a theatrical institution in Boston, where it's been running 36 years, and Washington, D.C. ( 28 years), as well as in myriad other cities around the globe. Now, a mere 37 years after the show premiered at a dinner theater in Lake George, N.Y., it's arrived off-Broadway for an open-ended run in the hope that similar lightning will strike.

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  • HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW OF Shear Madness

    First Nighter: Beauty Salon Crime Comedy “Shear Madness” is, as Advertised, Sheer Madness

    David Finkle

    November 14, 2015: Shear Madness has just arrived in Manhattan for the first time after playing for decades(!) in Boston. Curiously, people who hear about it seem to expect not to like it, and, as I arrived, I was among them. How appealing does a seeming farce sound that’s been fruitcaked with broad topical jokes—apparently updated daily—and takes place in a beauty salon? Okay, it doesn’t matter how it sounds, when as it plays at New World Stages on Will Cotton’s evocative set, it turns out to be consistently entertaining. We’re in the Shear Madness salon. Even before the action begins, one stylist at work is Tony Whitcomb (Jordan Ahnquist). He’s a gay blade—or barber with blades, who isn’t Sweeney Todd. The other is Barbara DeMarco (Kate Middleton, but not the English one). She’s gussied up in leopard top and frayed denim miniskirt. (Rodney Harper is the costumer).

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