The play, which ran on Broadway in 2000, garnered several Tony nominations for that run, including those for Best Play and Best Actress (Shear). Shear followed that success on Broadway in 2002 with The Smell of The Kill, but Dirty Blonde constitutes her West End debut.
Shear stars as Jo, a New York fan of burlesque star and racy-playwright-turned-Hollywood-idol Mae West. On a pilgrimage to West’s grave she meets fellow West-worshipper Charlie (Kevin Chamberlin), and a romance is born. Shear also plays West herself, with Bob Stillman as the various men in her life. Both Stillman and Chamberlin earned Tony nominations for their roles in New York.
James Lapine — another Tony nominee for the Broadway production — directs, with set designs by Douglas Stein. Lighting is designed by David Lander, costumes by Susan Hilferty. The show is currently booking until Aug. 28.
There was some sensation when Shear recently returned to the show at California’s Pasadena Playhouse. During the show, she spotted a man in the audience video taping the performance and asked him for the tape. When he refused, the audience began shouting at the man. Police were called, and the tape was handed over.