Let’s be clear. This isn’t the opera, ballet, symphony, or high-brow theatre experience you’d normally anticipate with tickets to the Kennedy Center.
No, Shear Madness is a quirky murder mystery performed in the Kennedy Center’s Theatre Lab. True theatre critics love to hate it, but there’s a reason this show holds the Guinness world record as the longest running play in America.
The corny comedy once went on hiatus (after 12,000+ performances!) in 2016. But it came back with a new killer cast — and audiences (largely tourist and high school groups) are delighting again in its antics.
Its cast of off-kilter characters all find themselves in a Georgetown hair salon when the landlady/pseudo-celeb living above the shop is murdered. With dialogue largely improvised — and chock full of hilarious up-to-the-minute current events — each night contains new action and new clues.
And the best part about this humorous whodunnit is that the audience chooses the culprit. That’s right — if you’re in attendance, you join the 3.3+ million at the Kennedy Center (12+ million worldwide) who have decided how this play will end on any given performance. And if enough of you decide differently tomorrow, then you’ll enjoy an entirely different ending!
Performances for Shear Madness are Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets from $56 are on sale through the Kennedy Center website, in-person at the Kennedy Center box office, or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.