Wednesday, November 5, 2014

reviews, SHEAR MADNESS, Phoenix Theatre

Click here for more information on Shear Madness at Phoenix Theatre

"The important thing to remember about the genuinely funny murder/mystery comedy Shear Madness, now playing at Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre, is not that it’s one of the longest running plays in the world; it’s that each night the show will be different.  What makes Shear Madness so much fun is not so much the obvious ad-libbing the cast has to furnish with every performance, it’s knowing and appreciating the obligation each actor has to make to the show in order for the ever-developing production to work, night after night.   The script calls for nothing less than total commitment. In the end, whoever committed the crime isn’t as important as the steps taken to get to that point.   Shear Madness has big laughs from a dedicated cast.   And here’s the real fun – no matter how many times you see it, you’ll never guess the murderer."  -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage

"a wacky, fun and infectious production.  While it isn't the best comedy ever written, the combination of farce, drama and audience participation turn the show into a fun, joyous affair that is heightened by topical references and audience participation, making every performance unlike any other. Full of quick wit and wide eye expressions, Pasha Yamotahari is an absolute joy as the flamboyant Tony. With multiple possible endings and jokes that change every performance based on the current events of the day, a well-oiled cast gifted in ad lib and direction that effectively navigates the fine line between high comedy and heightened melodrama, Phoenix Theatre's production of Shear Madness is a hilarious interactive comedy whodunit gem."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway

"Phoenix Theatre’s “Shear Madness” should have been a madcap, zany delight but weak casting and laggardly pacing, make the show a draggy bore that never comically delights audiences. In Robert Kolby Harper’s lackluster staging a local cast fails to bring the show’s frenzied humor to life and they never achieve the split-second comic timing necessary to make the inane story delightfully wacky.  Many of the mildly amusing moments are telescoped so far in advance that when the jokes hit, they die. “Shear Madness” should have delighted audiences; instead it bores them because the malarkey is never amusing. -Chris Curcio, KBAQ

"The success of "Shear Madness," the long-running murder-mystery comedy, is all the more impressive (puzzling?) once you realize what a tiny bag of tricks it brings to the stage. What saves Phoenix Theatre's take on "Shear Madness" is a talented cast that is utterly committed to the lowbrow goofiness of it all. Pasha Yamotahari, who is probably the most gifted physical comedian working in Valley theater right now, stars as proprietor Tony Whitcomb, a happy-go-lucky, slightly oversexed gay man. Aside from the performances, the real saving grace of "Shear Madness" is its attention to detail, with a nicely rendered set bristling with realistic props, many of which will figure into the mystery. It might be a good idea to take notes. Just don't bother writing down the punch lines.
-Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic

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