Shear Madness
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I value the Kennedy Center, but hoped they would have had higher standards for theatre they show
Feb 2020
I'm not sure if it was the choice of the playwright, the director, or the actor--but the result of the performance we saw was not only such an extreme caricature of a gay man to the point of homophobia, but also the use of sexual harassment and sexual assault for physical comedy. I truly laughed once within those two hours, and it was because of a 4 year old's commentary on the "investigation" at hand. I appreciated the style of interaction with the audience, the set and costumes were lovely, Mrs. Shubert was well played and fun to watch-- Mr. Lawrence was at least a sexual predator meant to look bad for being such (peeking on his love interest, kissing her without consent, clear signs she doesn't want to be near him but he tries to follow her around anyway, threatening to flash another character as a joke, etc.), Tony probably gropes only 2 out of 3 men because the blocking does not bring him close enough to Mr. Lawrence to give him the option. He flirts excessively in inappropriate moments-- which after a while is no longer "silly and fun" as it is tasteless, and upon being interrogated for murder gets in the cop's face to kiss him on the mouth for laughs. It is in no way plot relevant and easily could have been improv, but it is excessive and ill advised. Normalizing harassment and sexual assault for humor is not a message I would want to give anybody, let alone kids, who very quickly became the apparent target audience for the $60/person show. A lot of entertainment from this period have plenty of points all over their scripts that did not age well, and Shear Madness seems to be among them. Do better.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
102 reviews
Excellent
71
Very good
17
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
7

WPLandry
Fairfax, VA517 contributions
Feb 2020
This show is a ton of fun! The cast is so quick and witty, and the material is up to date with current affairs. The improv is impressive! Inviting the audience to participate makes the show unique and interactive. We have never attended a murder mystery type of show before, but we are actually looking forward to coming back to this one in a few months. We are planning to go a couple times each year as we know the material will change as do current events and as is the nature of improv. Can't wait to see it again!
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca D
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States4 contributions
Nov 2022 • Couples
Pleasantly surprised. Incredible play and the actors /actresses did amazing. Lots of humor, up to date "what's going on in the world" jabs, and audience interaction make this a must see Whodunit play!
Written November 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Flounder M
Hayward, CA1,710 contributions
Sep 2013 • Family
I found a long running play called Shear Madness while researching what to do in DC for the evening. I bought tickets in advance for the family. The Kennedy Center provides a complimentary shuttle bus from the Foggy Bottom Metro station. Look for the red bus, which comes approx. every 15 minutes.

The 1st act is hysterical with fantastic one liners, (cannot give out the details of the play) and during intermission, one of the players interacted with the audience when we were outside on the Terrace. The 2nd is directed by the audience, again, I cannot give the particulars. The play will well worth the money – highly recommended !

We met local people whom have seen the played many times. After watching the play, I can understand why one would return.
Written June 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
So glad you enjoyed the show! Please come back anytime, as you know it will be different ending every time!
Written July 2, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alex S
Richmond, VA25 contributions
I have to admit I'm perplexed by these positive reviews. It's these reviews that drive me to this show. The reviews couldn't have led me more astray.

These characters have the depth of a puddle and the subtlety of a Billboard on I-95. Jokes are completely unoriginal, forced, and based on wide stereotypes and random pop culture references that have nothing to do with the actual plot. (Example: Someone saying ESPN instead of ESP... Yea I've heard it before too 1000 times) It's like a poorly written ABC family sitcom from the early 90's that would have been cancelled mid-season. The level of interactivity is not like that of an engaging improv show, but more along the lines of Blue's Clues.

I wouldn't be so harsh if the show didn't cost $50. This is a $5 limited run show at a local theater at best. The Kennedy center deserves better. I feel border line robbed. Do yourself a favor and skip this, there are infinitely better things to do in DC.
Written January 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry your experience at Shear Madness did not live up to your standards. We strive to provide entertainment at the highest level to our patrons and are saddened we did not meet your expectations.
Written February 11, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JenBarnes25
1 contribution
Jan 2015
This show was absolutely awful. It lacked creativity, depth and was poorly performed. We weren't even able to sit through the whole thing. We snuck out because we couldn't bear the thought of wasting one more second in that disaster of a comedy. Don't waste your money, go somewhere else.
Written January 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sunflowersoprano
Manhattan, KS15 contributions
Feb 2019 • Business
Warning! We had heard good things about Shear Madness and were looking forward to the show, we were however thoroughly disappointed. About 200 snorting middle schoolers were in attendance and the show was definitely geared towards these kids. The actors played to the children and we felt out of place and as if we were intruding on a middle school assembly, one we paid $65 a head to witness. We were told this is spring break season and most of the performances were filled with visiting school kids. Our advice would be to stay away. Waste of time and money unless you’re a 12 yr old.
Written February 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

thejaytees
Wrightsville Beach, NC47 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
We love going to the theater and saw a show at the Kennedy Center on our last trip to DC. So when we began planning this trip we wanted to return to the Kennedy Center. We felt like we had to see Shear Madness to see this long running show. We are glad we have seen it but don't really understand why it is such a long running show. The seats were only about 1/3 full on the Saturday night that we attended. It was humorous. It was fun trying to figure out "who dunnit" and one of the actors answered the audience's questions during intermission out on the patio. But I guess this isn't our favorite type of theater. If you go, buy discount tickets. I can't remember where we found them but the cost was only half price and easy to find on line.
Written October 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lamilano
Savannah, GA141 contributions
Oct 2017 • Friends
A friend and I went to see this show, which we had both seen before (years ago in a different location). Forgot how hysterically funny it is! And of course they keep it current with the latest news, etc... If you have not seen it, go and expect an evening of crazy fun!
Written October 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly D
Washington DC, DC148 contributions
Nov 2016 • Family
We had the pleasure of seeing this show this past Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). We brought our two boys 10 and 15 yrs old.

The show was incredibly funny and engaging. Though there were some political and sexual undertones, I did not find it to be inappropriate for our 10 year old - some of it went over his head but he was able to appreciate much of the humor.

The actors were phenomenal. See my review on the Kennedy Center for specific details on the venue and the Theater Lab.

We are so glad we had the opportunity to see this performance. All four of us it give it the highest rating. A must see - truly!
Written November 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for playing Shearlock with us!
Written December 1, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dngtig
Preston, CT35 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
I saw this with my girlfriend and my two teenage daughters, we all loved it. Extremely entertaining. The audience interaction is great. Go into the theater 10 minutes or so early because the show actually has an informal beginning. Pay attention to detail because you might be able to solve the crime. The Kennedy center views are an added bonus.
Written August 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
So glad you were able to join us! Come back anytime and get a new killer!
Written August 11, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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