TAMPA — Hey, all you armchair detectives out there, here’s a show for you.
“Shear Madness” is a screwball whodunit the audience solves by questioning suspects, showing at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for Performing Arts in the Jaeb Theater through April 8.
Set in the Shear Madness hair salon in Ybor City, Tampa references and clever pop-culture jokes start flying like wisps of trimmed bangs from the get-go.
With a book by Paul Portner and directed by original co-producer Bruce Jordan, the show is part of the Straz Produced series that features local actors.
Jessica Moraton plays sassy Barbara DeMarco, who works in the salon with flamboyant owner Tony Whitcomb (RP McLaughlin), who delivers quips with razor-sharp wit.
Roz Potenza is the haughty customer Mrs. Schubert (her maiden name is Glazer), and Luis Rivera plays the shifty businessman Eddie Lawrence (who an audience member called a “slimeball” during questioning).
Shaun Memmel and Aaron Castle as boneheaded undercover cops Mikey and Nick are the butt of many jokes and the source of a lot of laughter.
The highly observant audience caught all kinds of clues, which they gleefully pointed out, sometimes even trading barbs with the cast.
No spoilers, obviously, but it’s noteworthy that because the clues change every night, the outcome is never the same.
There’s definitely one constant: “Shear Madness” is a rollicking good time.
If you go
“Shear Madness.” Runs through April 8. $43.50 and up. Prices fluctuate by demand. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N Macinnes Place. 813-229-7827. strazcenter.org.