Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | 2:07 p.m.
"Thank you for calling 'Shear Madness,' America's longest-running comedy." That's the recorded voice you're greeted with when you call the Las Vegas franchise of the comedy murder mystery, which opened in May at a custom-built theater at the Town Square shopping center.
They may want to change that outgoing message.
After only 11 weeks, "Shear Madness," which received positive reviews after its Vegas debut, will go dark following this Sunday's performance. The interactive show, which is still running after more than 20 years in Boston and Washington, D.C., reportedly had a seven-year contract to run at the Town Square location.
It's been almost the perfect storm, in terms of circumstances," says local "Shear Madness" producer Terrence Williams, explaining the difficulties of mounting a new show in an off-Strip venue. "There's the economy, of course. Entertainment spending is down, as anyone will tell you. We're located where we are (at Town Square) and our marketing budget has been tight. And this is a show that's not cheap to operate, because this is an Equity (professional) cast."
Tickets for the remaining performances have been reduced to $29.99 for all seats, and are available by calling the box office at (702) 949-6123 or by visiting ShearMadness.com. It's a funny show, and the Vegas cast was very good, so catch it if you can, before it's gone.
Williams says he will continue to program and produce entertainment in the venue, beginning right away with performances by Matt Donnelly’s Celebrity Tarot Lounge (which will feature such celebrity guests Teller (of Penn and Teller), Kristen Schaal ("Flight of the Conchords") and Carrot Top on July 20, and "Coraline" author Neil Gaiman and "X-Men" writer James Asmus) on July 21. Tickets are $19.95-$49.95 at TarotLounge.com. An improv show called "Free Beer!," which will play Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m.