POST: 'Old Hats' - I still giggle to myself, so ace

What's it about?

Two silent clowns use their actions to speak for them, along with a witty live band.

What'd I experience?

I made my way to the theater and the place was packed.  I wasn’t very surprised because honestly I’ve seen their ad a billion times whenever I took the train. It was, and still is, on the walls of my train station, so I didn’t expect anything less. I sat excitedly, waiting to have a good laugh.

The show opened with Bill Irwin and David Shiner being chased by a huge rock, which was projected on a screen behind them. The screen was used throughout the show to project different backgrounds. I was transported from one place to another in an instant. I went from seeing them chased by a huge rock to being a dot in the galaxy. It was all the coolness of traveling minus the annoying transportation part. Team teleportation.

Throughout their acts, I sat there trying to figure out who they reminded me of. That silent comedy seemed extremely familiar, but I just couldn’t place it. When I finally figured it out, I realized they reminded me of a combination between Charlie Chaplin and Mr. Bean. Two actors who don’t need to say a word to be insanely hilarious. They just were.

Many of their acts had this “you got served” mentality to them. Both clowns would try to one up the other, and I was totally okay with that. In one of their acts, titled “The Debate,” Bill and David were two competing politicians, trying to gain the votes of the audience. They would try to prove that they were more patriotic than the other and even resorted to fighting each other. David threw spitballs at Bill, and Bill used a contraption that punched David. The more one served the other, the more ridiculous and over the top, and the more I died laughing.

One of my favorite acts was titled “Cowboy Cinema,” and man, I can’t even begin to describe how funny it was. I was DYING of laughter the ENTIRE time. This was one of the many acts that involved audience participation. They picked 4 random audience members, each with a different role: an assistant, a good cowboy, a bad cowboy, and a love interest. When David directed the scene, he showed each audience member how to act. Think over exaggerated gun fights, girly dances, and deaths. I think what I loved most about this act was the audience members. They had fun with it and really got into it. When the good cowboy got into a gun fight with the bad cowboy - he was having fun with that character, shooting from the side, under his leg, and more. Both the cowboys’ deaths were even exaggerated, with flailing arms and falling flat on the stage. Thinking back, I still giggle to myself because it was just, for lack of a better word, so ace!

The duo had, however, one act that had me thinking more than laughing. The act was titled “The Hobo,” and the hobo couldn’t catch a break. Everything he touched died, from a flower to a cat. Yep. You read that right. A cat. He barely had anything, and any glimmer of hope he had would die. He was clearly defeated and searching for any sort of company, so he placed his beer bottle on a stick and pretended it was a woman. At first, I thought it was a bit creepy, but at the same time, when I thought about it, I realized that he had no one. He was just searching for some sort of companionship, even if it was made up. And I understood. We all need someone, and the best someone he could have at the moment was someone made up. With his luck though, the wind swept her away, and once again, he was alone. I was 3 seconds from a full out tear fest, but a flower grew out of a trash can. He smiled, and I took it as a happy ending. A sign to have hope. A sign to hold on because it was going to get better, and that made me happy. Happy endings are totally my thing.

The show also had a live band, and between acts, they would perform different, witty songs. I was madly in love with their music because it reminded me of an easier time. A happier time. 

There were two songs, however, with somber tones that really got me thinking. I loved the way the songs played with perspective and made something that’s considered so negative into a positive. The first song was titled “The Vistor,” which was about a person whose visitors are pain and heartache, but they welcome them with open arms. Similarly, in the second song, titled “The Reminder Song,” that same person is appreciative of all the heartache and pain because it led to their friends. I couldn’t agree with the two songs more. I feel like we should embrace and appreciate the negatives because it’s led us to where we are, and honestly, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.


Want to see it?

$30 Student Rush

Old Hats
Signature Theatre
thru Apr. 3