Sheer Madness at DC's Kennedy Center: who's seen it?

This has been playing at Washington DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for as long as I can remember. The local NBC affiliate’s Arch Campbell always recommends the show in his weekend picks (3 stars I think).

I’ve seen it three times, each time for the entertainment of an out-of-town guest. Who else has seen it? Heard of it?


For those who’ve seen it more than once, what do you think about the kiss that the cast tries to play off as a hilarious ad-lib? It kind of loses its hilarity when you see it the 2nd time around and realize it’s really part of the script.

I saw Sheer Madness in September of last year. I wasn’t that impressed with it - and you’re right - it does get played off as all improv but you can tell that much of it is routine.

Not a bad play to take a friend to. I was in the front row and got splashed a few times with water/shampoo.


I worked the show, and thus have seen it over 600 times.

If anyone has any questions about the alternate endings, I’m your man. :slight_smile:

  • Rick

I was there for the one-thousandth performance…or maybe it was the one-millionth…about five years back.

In honor of the anniversary, they brought in crime-fiction writers Robert B. Parker, Donald E. Westlake, Linda Barnes, and Carol Higgins Clark, as well as the head detective of the D.C. Homicide Squad and the D.C. District Attorney.

I was down there on the company dime, as we were publishing Westlake and Clark in those days. The play kinda stunk, but the authors were brought up onstage before the denouement to give their own takes on the solution of the case, which was great fun.

And we got to stay at the Watergate, which was right next door. Westlake cased the joint and used the layout as a plot point in his next novel, What’s the Worst that Could Happen?, and the rest of us just stole stationery and corkscrews and bathrobes and whatever else wasn’t nailed down that said “Watergate” on it.

I saw it twice during the six months I lived in DC. I enjoyed it more the first time, but I did get to see two different endings.

We went to an extraordinarily high-priced Easter brunch at the Watergate, where we didn’t quite realize how much we were spending until the bill came, and the only loot I got was the ballpoint pen we used to sign the check!