Arts & Entertainment

‘Sheer Madness’ actors are sharply on their toes in zany Beef & Boards mystery

January 5, 2017

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The Indiana debut of Shear Madness, known as “America’s favorite whodunit comedy,” inaugurates the 44th season of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.  Along with my press colleagues, I saw the show on Saturday’s media night.

The  Guinness Book of Records, lists Sheer Madness as the longest running play in the history of the USA. It was also voted “Best Comedy of the Year” seven times by the Boston Globe and recipient of the title “Best Play of the Year” by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer.

"Sheer Madness" cast

“Sheer Madness” cast – L-R  (back row) Jeff Stockberger & Michael Shelton (front row) Nathan Robbins, Suzanne Stark, Daniel Klinger, Jenny Raber – Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Used by permission.

The interactive play, a clever mix of improvisation and mystery,  centers on an unlikely group of characters patronizing an Indianapolis hair salon, located on Mass. Ave. That’s just one of the many local references in the wacky play that invites the audience to offer clues, question the witnesses and ultimately solve the case of who murdered an old lady living in an upstairs apartment.

One of the reasons for the show’s enduring popularity is that no matter how many time it is seen, the same experience can not be repeated  because the outcome is never the same.

The cast of Sheer Madness, smartly directed by Eddie Curry, consists of Beef & Boards regular Jeff Stockberger as Nick O’Brien, the straight shooter cop; Daniel Klingler, in a bravura performance,  as  flaming Tony Whitcomb, the salon owner; Jenny Reber as intriguing hairdresser Barbara DeMarco; Suzanne Stark as snooty socialite Mrs. Eleanor Shubert; Nathan Robbins as the earnest undercover cop Mikey Thomas, and Michael Shelton as the enigmatic Eddie Lawrence.

Shear Madness runs through Jan. 29 Tickets range from $42.50 to $67.50 and includes a generous buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the Beef & Boards Dinner Theater box office at( 317) 872-9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For more information, including complete show schedule, visit Shear Madness is rated PG-13 for some adult humor.





Tom Alvarez

Tom Alvarez is a freelance writer who has covered theater, dance, music and the visual arts for 40 years. He has written for the Indianapolis Star, NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, and other publications. Tom appears regularly as a contributor on WISH-Channel 8's "Indy Style." A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, he is co-creator of the company's original "Calder, The Musical" and managing director of its Magic Thread Cabaret. For information regarding both endeavors, visit Also an actor/model, Tom is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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