Created and Performed by Bill Irwin and David Shiner
Music by and featuring Nellie McKay
Directed by Tina Landau
The Pershing Square Signature Center
Signature Theatre

Reviewed by David Spencer

Whether you’re already fan of the wry, sometimes esoteric clowning of Bill Irwin and David Shiner, or new to their—it feels odd to call it “work”—Old Hats provides both a great reacquaintance and an equally fine introduction. Just as their Fool Moon brought clowning into the ‘90s in terms of acknowledging technology and the way we live now, Old Hats, despite its name, provides a similar new millennium renovation. But only in part. As masters of dialogue-free sketchery and mime, they also embrace traditions going back heaven knows how many decades (or centuries) with shameless abandon. And there’s singer-songwriter Nellie McKay providing wry, deadpan accompaniment. There is a touch of recycling too, in particular Shiner’s audience-participation filming a movie Western schtick, which dominates the second act. You won’t mind seeing it again.

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