2014 11 26 Sheer Madness 2We saw “Shear Madness” at the New Theatre Restaurant. The guest star was Richard Karn best known for TV’s “Home Improvements.” Also so appearing, Jim Korinke, who appeared in the first local production of “Shear Madness” in 1988 and has been in every subsequent local version since then. Dodie Brown, Craig Benton, Ron Megee and Cathy Barnett rounded out the cast. We had never seen Ron Megee in anything but really enjoyed his performance as a gay hairdresser. At points in the plays, the cast really had problems not laughing at themselves, which made it even funnier.

Part of the fun happens before the play actually starts, as Barnett spruces up the salon and gives Brown a real shampoo. Megee squirts white goo onto Benton’s head which turns to pure slapstick and is quite funny.

Once the play starts, it is an audience-participation murder mystery and played strictly for laughs. The audience was invited to help solve an off-stage murder. The first act sets up the murder of a renowned classical pianist in her apartment above the Shear Madness beauty salon. During the second act the audience interrogates the suspects, evaluate the clues and vote on who the murder is. This play never has the same ending twice. Richard Karn was the celebrity star and is known  for his role as “Al” on eight seasons of HOME IMPROVEMENT.

Shear Madness is America’s most popular and longest running play. Now in its 25th year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. More than 10.6 million people worldwide have seen this hilarious whodunit.