My Reporting

Old Hats

That's me in the big cowboy hat. I tried to walk through the swinging saloon doors, and the whole door frame came crashing to the floor. David Shiner is filming on that old camera and tripod.

That’s me in the big cowboy hat with the flowers. I tried to walk through the swinging saloon doors, and the whole door frame came crashing to the floor. David Shiner is filming on that old camera and tripod (sorry it’s a bit out of focus).

We don’t really think of clowns or vaudeville as forms of entertainment anymore. However, if you sift through the highbrow towers of New York City, you may come across Old Hats.

This play involves vaudevillian slapstick, musical numbers, and even the audience participation to create a very unique and special experience. Oh-and funny. A very funny experience (otherwise, why would I be writing about it…). I am just now getting back home from seeing it, and I’m so happy I already have tickets to go see it again.

The play stars Bill Irwin and David Shiner, who are two professional clowns and playwrights. They have performed together before in a few shows, clocking in over a half a century of performance experience. They are also artists in residence at the Signature Theater (a very modern space that was greatly juxtaposed the vaudevillian play).

The last time I saw them was 15 years ago in Fool Moon. I was called to go on stage, but out of fright I declined and sent my brother instead, who jumped at the opportunity to get on stage. Well…I am pleased to say that I finally got my time in the spotlight after regretting that decision all these years. I played a cowboy tonight in the second to last sketch they did, in which they used members of the audience to act out a western saloon scene. And even though I died in the scene (I had to collapse on a table and fall down) it was fantastic to feel my heart pound on stage, even if a little scary at the same time.

But even if you don’t get called on stage, this show is worth every minute of your time.

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