After a 36-Year Boston Tryout, Shear Madness Finds Its Home Off-Broadway

News   After a 36-Year Boston Tryout, Shear Madness Finds Its Home Off-Broadway
The Guinness Book of World Records' longest-running play in the history of the U.S., Shear Madness, is heading to Off-Broadway's New World Stages next month. The show will begin previews for an open-ended run Oct. 22. 

An official opening night is slated for Nov. 11, and tickets are now on sale. Cast and design team will be announced shortly. 

"Our initial plan was to open Shear Madness in New York after a Boston tryout, but the tryout was so successful that it didn't make any sense to close," said creators  Bruce Jordan and Marilyn Abrams in a press statement.

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, which recently celebrated its 35th year of performances in Boston,  is adapted by Jordan and 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. and internationally. It has also been playing for 28 years at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

"We had received several New York offers but they just didn't seem right to us. With Boston and then Philadelphia running, we set our sights on Chicago, Washington, DC and San Francisco, and licensed successful productions across the United States and around the world," continued Jordan and Abrams. "New York has always remained on our radar, and when the Shubert Organization bought New World Stages, we thought ‘Let’s go!’  Now, after many offers, we've found the perfect team to bring Shear Madness to NYC.  So, after 36 years of ‘trying out’ in Boston, 28 years of ‘previews’ at the Kennedy Center, 5 years in Philadelphia, 18 years in Chicago, and 5 years in San Francisco, we are prepared for the big time.  New York has always been our destination, we just took a short detour."

Tickets from $49.50 are available online at or by phone at (212) 239-6200. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th St.

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