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Photo Flash: Stars of AVENUE Q Welcome SHEAR MADNESS to New World Stages


Members of the cast of AVENUE Q welcomed the cast of Shear Madness to New World Stages, where they begin performances this Thursday. Scroll down for photos of both companies at the salon!

The open-ended Off-Broadway engagement of SHEAR MADNESS will begin performances October 22nd at New World Stages/Stage 4 (340 West 50th Street). Opening Night is set for November 11th. Bruce Jordan directs a cast that features Adam Gerber, Jeremy Kushnier, Kate Middleton, Patrick Noonan, Jonathan Spivey, and Lynne Wintersteller. SHEAR MADNESS will have scenic and lighting design by Will Cotton, costume design by Rodney Harper, and sound designer by Bruce Yauger.

SHEAR MADNESS is America's hilarious whodunit where the audience gets to solve the crime. Set in a local hair salon that turns into a wacky murder scene, the play is filled with up-to-the-minute humor and is different every time you see it!

It all began in the summer of 1976 while Bruce Jordan was working at a theatre in upstate New York. He came across a play entitled Scherenschnitt, which was written in 1963 by German writer and psychologist Paul Pörtner. The playwright had written the script to use as a study of how people perceive or misperceive reality. The brief play was set in a unisex hair salon and revolved around an off-stage murder of a concert pianist. Subjects were asked to solve the murder based on their individual perceptions of the events and the six stereotypical characters surrounding the murder. Bruce was intrigued by the concept and suggested that he and Marilyn Abrams stage the play in Lake George. Marilyn read Portner's original script, which she described as 'primitive' and says that if she hadn't known and trusted Bruce, she 'would have run for the hills'! She did trust him and they opened the newly titled SHEAR MADNESS in 1978 with nothing more than a basic outline of a script. Bruce and Marilyn performed the lead roles as well as helmed the production. Being on stage each night, Marilyn experienced the "magical" chemistry between the actors and the audience and was acutely aware of the audience's response to SHEAR MADNESS. Bruce and Marilyn immediately purchased the world stage, screen and television rights to the play.

Marilyn and Bruce always had New York City in mind: "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. 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. 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."

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

Shear Madness
Members of the cast of AVENUE Q welcomed Shear Madness to New World Stages. Pictured: Jeremy Kushnier, Jonathan Spivey, Lucy T Slut/Elizabeth Ann Berg), Rod/Ben Durocher, Kate Middleton, Patrick Noonan, Adam Gerber, Trekkie Monster/Jason Jacoby, Lynne Wintersteller.

Shear Madness
Lucy The Slut/Elizabeth Ann Berg gets her nails done by Shear Madness manicurist Barbara (Kate Middleton) .

Shear Madness
Trekkie Monster/Jason Jacoby is checking out Mrs Shubert's jewelry (Lynne Wintersteller), as Rod/Ben Durocher looks on.

Shear Madness
The Cops of Shear Madness (Adam Gerber and Patrick Noonan) put Rod/Ben Durocher in handcuffs!

Shear Madness
The Cops of Shear Madness (Adam Gerber and Patrick Noonan) meet Lucy T Slut/Elizabeth Ann Berg).

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