Shear Madness Begins Performances in NYC at Last

News   Shear Madness Begins Performances in NYC at Last
The Off-Broadway production of Shear Madness, the Guinness Book of World Records' longest-running play in the history of the U.S., begins previews for an open-ended run Oct. 22. The New York staging features Broadway actors Jeremy Kushnier and Lynne Wintersteller. 

Joining Kushnier and Wintersteller are Jordan Ahnquist, who comes from the Boston production, along with Adam Gerber, Kate Middleton and Patrick Noonan. An official opening night is slated for Nov. 11.

Jeremy Kushnier
Jeremy Kushnier

The long-running comedic and interactive whodunit, which recently celebrated its 35th year of performances in Boston,  is adapted by Bruce Jordan — who also directs the Off-Broadway staging — 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.

"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 co-creators Jordan and Abrams in an earlier press statement.

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," continued Jordan and Abrams in an earlier press release. "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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