“Home Improvement” and “Family Feud” star Richard Karn headlines “Shear Madness,” a wacky whodunit where the audience helps interrogate, evaluate and (hopefully) solve the mystery. The action begins as a classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the beauty salon of the title. A colorful array of usual suspects emerges. (Note: There is no butler, but there is a barber.) Part of the reason Paul Portner’s play is one of the longest-running non-musicals in the world is because the show never features the same ending twice. See website for times and ticket prices. New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster. newtheatre.com.
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Red Cedar Christmas Tree Event
Kansas City WildLands invites participants to bring home a cedar for the holidays. The native trees smell wonderful but are in overabundance on Johnson County Park and Recreation Department properties. Thus, the Red Cedar Christmas Tree Event is recruiting folks to visit 22-acre Mildale Farm, where hay wagons are available to aid with cutting, carrying and tying down trees. Patrons must bring their own rope and handsaws (no chainsaws, axes or high-powered lasers). Plenty of sizes and shapes of trees are available, and a bonfire, hot cider and cookies are provided to help make the experience cozy. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Dec. 6. Mildale Farm, 3520 W. 199th St. jcprd.com. Minimum donation of $15 is suggested.
The Nutcracker Tea Party
Since its debut in 1892, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” has joined mistletoe and eggnog as part of the holiday tradition. Families are invited to the Nutcracker Tea Party, which presents a one-hour version of the beloved ballet performed by the Legacy School of the Arts Dance Company. Patrons indulge in an enchanting tea party and kid-friendly menu as well. Proceeds benefit public arts programs in Overland Park. Noon-2 p.m., Dec. 6; noon to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 7. Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th St. artsandrec-op.org. $40 for adults; $25 for children; Free for children 3 and under.
Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald described Marilyn Maye as “the greatest white female singer in the world.” At age 86, Maye is still reinforcing that claim. The Wichita native debuted in Topeka amateur contests before earning her own radio show at the age of 14. Career highlights include a Best New Artist Grammy nomination in 1965 and a whopping 76 appearances on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show.” The Overland Park resident is accompanied by a six-piece band of local jazz players when she performs a show titled “Marilyn Maye — The Merriest.” 8 p.m., Dec. 13. The Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall, Johnson County Community College. jccc.edu. $32-$80.
Kids Night Out – Painting Party
The finest holiday presents are typically the ones made by hand. That’s the strategy behind “Kids Night Out — Painting Party.” Parents can drop off their young ones (ages 8-12) for an evening that features dinner, games and painting. Step-by-step instructions and supplies are included for the latter, which should result in a completed artistic masterpiece that makes a perfect gift. 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Dec. 13. Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood. roelandpark.net. $16 for Johnson County residents; $18 for non-residents.
Jon Niccum, Special to The Star