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For this week’s issue, I reported an oral history of the Kennedy Center’s longrunning production of Shear Madness. Among the stories I collected was the wedding of Kathy Clark and Bradley Rosenberg, who were married Aug. 12, 1999 during a performance of the show. But their love for Shear Madness didn’t end there. Not long after, they bought a 56-foot Oyster sailboat which they named “Shear Madness.” Clark and Rosenberg sailed across the Pacific Ocean and back in the Shear Madness before selling it in 2007. But in 2010, they bought a new vessel, a 72-foot yacht, which they dedicated as the second vessel to be called Shear Madness. (Warning! Linked site’s body copy is Comic Sans.) In September, Clark and Rosenberg, both 54, retired and sold their Oakton, Va., house and began living fulltime aboard the Shear Madness, which is currently trawling up and down the East Coast.
That’s not the full extent of their tribute to Shear Madness, though. When I contacted Clark and Rosenberg to interview them about their wedding, Clark told me she and Rosenberg even created a cocktail called—what else—Shear Madness. But then they got stingy with the recipe?
Clark: It’s a special boat drink. It’s a complete secret and the only way to find out is to visit the boat.
Rosenberg: There’s no one else who knows the recipe.
At the time of our interview, the S.S. Shear Madness was departing Colonial Beach, Va., and heading further south, making a personal visit to the boat impractical. Still, they wouldn’t budge on the apparently impenetrable secrecy of their cocktail recipe.
Clark: I can’t tell you the ingredients.
Rosenberg: It’s got a lime and some ice.
Clark: A good Shear Madness, you don’t want to drink more than two of them.
That was as much as Clark and Rosenberg were willing to explain about their “special boat drink,” which apparently is strong enough to knock out an average-sized adult after just two servings. But Clark and Rosenberg also told me that people still talk about their wedding to this day and that they are known as the “Shear Madness” couple. So, I offer this open query to any of their friends who may have visited either of the ships to be called Shear Madness. If you have visited Bradley Rosenberg and Kathy Clark aboard their yacht and have tasted the Shear Madness beverage, please feel free to leave hints about the recipe in the comments.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Clark and Bradley Rosenberg.