Chances are, you have heard of Shear Madness, perhaps from a friend, or relative, and are considering attending a performance. My recommendation is that you should not attend, unless you would like to feel physical pain, and suffering from extreme laughter. However if you feel like you cheek and stomach muscles are in healthy enough shape, you may be able to endure this marathon of laughter. Opera glasses are very necessary for a performance of this type.
As we begin the performance we find ourselves in unisex hair salon. We see that the stereotypical gossip is happening in this salon, just as it happens in real life. As the clients sit to get their hair cut, their deepest secrets seem to fall with the hair trimmings. We listen to the stories of the performers, and we get our first tastes of comedy, much of this play is improvised by the actors. As you watch Shear Madness, you begin to see the all too stereotypical characters, you have the ditsy blond, a gay hairdresser (played wonderfully by John McGivern in the performance I saw in Milwaukee.) a police officer, high class women, and of course, the all American hunk which makes McGivern's character giggle.
This play is ever changing as the topics of interest revolve around current events going on around the city Shear Madness is open in and the United States hot topics. The current events are twisted into a funny light. The characters use a lot of improvisation and sometimes the actors cannot contain their own laughter which only makes you laugh even harder. To make sure you see each actor slip up trying hard not to giggle, bring your Opera glasses.
Unexpectedly during the play one of the actors will speak directly to a person or people in the audience to ask for opinions. You may even find yourself yelling out the answers. You must understand that you answer may vary from your neighbors, which adds an exciting new element to this wonderful performance. I do advise you to be careful if you find yourself in the first two or three rows, as you may become the topic of one of the jokes, remember though this is all in good humor.
Besides running a beauty salon and all of the gossip that it entails, Shear Madness' plot pertains to a murder. The person murdered is the owner of the salon. The owner lived upstairs of the salon before she was murdered. As a member of the audience you are enthralled trying to figure out who the murderer is. Looking back at the play, each character in the play could possibly be the correct killer. You will find yourself squinting your eyes and eyebrows and scratching your head trying to figure out who committed the murder. Use your Opera glasses often to help you choose who the guilty murderer is.
What makes this comedy play different than any other play is that the guilty murderer is different each time. The characters in the play will talk to the audience and ask them questions. The audience actually votes and chooses who the murderer is. As odd as this may sound, it is really a very clever concept. Some people even see this play more than once and usually see a different ending.
The play Shear Madness is actually one of the longest running non musical plays being attended today. Many very popular critics such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and reviewed this play, and have written wonderful things about it. There is no doubt you too will love this play, and want to see it again and again.
You will want to bring your Opera glasses as you will not want to miss one entertaining moment of Shear Madness. Opera glasses will ensure that you will capture each and every laugh.