Saturday, February 6, 2016

Old Hats (2016 Version) ****

Three years ago Bill Irwin and David Shiner brought this two-man show to the Signature Theatre where it was wildly successful. Happily, they are back. Here are some excerpts from my 2013 review:  “Their hair may be a bit grayer and sparser, but these two talented mimes have not lost an iota of inventiveness or plasticity. The several skits they perform alone and together keep the laughs coming, almost without pause. Between skits and at intermission, the lovely composer/singer/pianist” Shania Taub “leads a band of five in her catchy songs with wry lyrics. Individually, Irwin and Shiner are superb, but the sparks they create together make their joint skits even funnier. "A Magic Act," featuring Shiner as a slinky magician with a pomaded ponytail and Irwin in a blonde curly wig and high heels as his assistant, is by itself worth the price of admission. The two break their silence for a moment early in the second act with an amusing outcome. In “Cowboy Cinema,” Shiner plays a silent film director shooting a saloon scene with four "volunteers" from the audience with hilarious results. The clever projections by Wendall K. Harrington add to the fun. G.W. Mercier's scenic and costume designs are delightful. The sound design by John Gromada contributes to the merriment. Tina Landau's direction keeps things lively." If you need a good laugh, there’s no better place to spend two hours.

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