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

January 5, 2017

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 beefandboards.com. Shear Madness is rated PG-13 for some adult humor.



photo: Julie Curry

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Indy Style, and is a creative arts reporter for Reel Life TV, an entertainment show also broadcast on WISH-TV.

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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