On Sept. 25, 1997, the National Comedy Hall of Fame presented the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Award to Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan, the original creators and producers of Shear Madness. The award ceremony began at 9:30 pm, following the 10th anniversary performance of the comic mystery at the Kennedy Center’s Theatre Lab. Written by Paul Portner, this popular comedy enlists the help of audience members in solving the murder of a famous pianist who lives above the Shear Madness unisex hairstyling salon. Not only does the 10th anniversary of Shear Madness at the Theatre Lab mark its place as the longest-running play in Washington, D. C. history, but the Boston production (now in it’s 18th year) holds the record for the longest running non-musical play in the history of the American theatre.
Since its opening in Boston, the successful whodunit has played to more than 5 million theatregoers in 30 cities and 15 countries around the world. Shear Madness is currently playing in 16 professional theatres regionally. For more information on those productions, refer to the regional listings on Playbill On-Line.
--By Jackie Mastropolo