Bill Irwin and David Shiner Collaborate With Tina Landau and Nellie McKay for Old Hats World Premiere at Signature
By Kenneth Jones
Old Hats is the name of the new work by clowning Tony Award winners Bill Irwin and David Shiner, who will appear in the show's world premiere by Signature Theatre Company starting in February 2013. Tina Landau directs the work, with music by retro-pop star Nellie McKay, who is also featured in the production.
Irwin, the renowned clown, is an alumni playwright from Signature's past. This presentation is part of the Off-Broadway company's continuing effort to showcase work by alumni, in its Legacy Program.
Performances of Old Hats begin Feb. 12 toward a March 4 opening on The Irene Diamond Stage within the Pershing Square Signature Center on West 42nd Street.
According to Signature, "2003-04 Playwright-in-Residence Bill Irwin reunites with fellow clown David Shiner for a new work combining their inimitable magic, slapstick, and hilarity. Using music, technology, and movement, plus other tricks up their sleeves, Irwin and Shiner create another wild and remarkable outing of theatre for a new generation of audiences. Signature is proud to present this dynamic duo's first collaboration since the smash Broadway hit Fool Moon."
Tina Landau directed Off-Broadway's Civil War Christmas, Floyd Collins, Dream True, In the Red and Brown Water, Iphigenia 2.0, Wig Out, Mary Rose, Saturn Returns, Orestes, Trojan Women; La Jolla Playhouse's Beauty, Cloud Tectonics and Marisol; Actors Theatre of Louisville's 1969; Broadway's Superior Donuts and Bells Are Ringing; and many other productions.
The design team includes G.W. Mercier (scenic and costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), John Gromada (sound design), and Wendall K. Harrington (projection design). David H. Lurie is the production stage manager.
Production support for Old Hats is provided by the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation and the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater.
All tickets for the initial run of the production (to March 31) are $25 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. Tickets go on sale Jan. 8, 2013.
The Pershing Square Signature Center is located at 480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.
For tickets and information, visit signaturetheatre.org.
Bill Irwin is a Tony Award winner for playing George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional stage productions include The Goat or Who is Sylvia, opposite Sally Field; Waiting For Godot with Nathan Lane, for which Irwin was nominated in 2009 for a Drama Desk Award; The Tempest opposite Patrick Stewart; Texts for Nothing; Largely New York; The Regard of Flight; Garden of Earthly Delights; Accidental Death of an Anarchist; and the Tony Award-winning Fool Moon, which he created with David Shiner. He was Playwright in Residence for the 2003 Signature Theatre season. He was Mr. Noodle on "Sesame Street."
David Shiner made his American debut starring in the renowned Canadian Cirque du Soleil and toured North America in Cirque's Nouvelle Experience from 1990 through the spring of 1991. American-born David began his career on the streets of Boulder, CO. In 1981, he moved to Europe and honed his craft on the streets of Paris, Rome, Florence, London and Munich. He then began performing in Europe's most prestigious circuses, including starring in the German National Circus' Ronacalli and the Swiss National Circus' Knie. Between circus engagements, Shiner and partner Rene Bazinet toured Europe in a two-man show. In 1993, 1995 and 1998, Shiner starred with Bill Irwin and the Red Clay Ramblers in Fool Moon (Tony Award for Unique Theatrical Experience), touring the show throughout the U.S. and Europe. He also starred on Broadway as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical The Musical. Shiner's home base is Munich.
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