Madness Descends on Manhattan: Shear Madness Is Heading Off-Broadway at Last

News   Madness Descends on Manhattan: Shear Madness Is Heading Off-Broadway at Last According to an Equity casting call, the Guiness Book of World Records' longest running play in the history of the USA, Shear Madness, will be produced Off-Broadway at long last this fall. The original Boston staging recently celebrated its 35th year of performances.

According to the casting call, Off-Broadway performances will begin Oct. 22 with an official opening night slated for Nov. 11. No venue was listed. Nor was a closing date.

Danny Bernardy and Gil Brady in <i>Shear Madness</i> at the Kennedy Center
Danny Bernardy and Gil Brady in Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center Photo by Margot Schulman

The long-running comedic and interactive whodunit is adapted by Bruce Jordan and Marilyn Abrams, after Paul Pörtner's German psychodrama. Set in a unisex hair salon, the audience is invited to vote nightly on who is guilty and who isn't, producing varied results.

Shear Madness debuted at the Charles Playhouse in Boston in 1980, where it continues to run with an ever-evolving cast. It was voted Best Comedy of the Year seven times by the Boston Globe and recipient of the Best Play of the Year by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer. The first-ever national tour kicked off in 2012 and it has since been seen around the U.S.A and internationally. It has also been playing for 28 years at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

When asked by The New York Times why Shear Madness had never been staged in New York. Jordan replied, "Most people go to New York first so that they can get a name and perform elsewhere.... We don't have to go to New York. At one point, this will open in New York City. We would have to find the right theater in the right area."

That quote was published in 1997.

For more information on the play, visit ShearMadness.

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