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via Daily Prompt: Shine with thanks to Ben Huberman, The Daily Post for the inspiration

NoLateSeatingThose who crave the spotlight most often become entertainers. Their talent demands it. It is their calling to shine.

We applaud them, and in so doing bask in the glow of their accomplishment. They are center stage with the footlights on them, but we are illuminated by their performance.

Their light shines on us as they render and interpret and presnet their truths. Greater  performers shine brightest, and we shine brighter too.

Posted in Bill Irwin, clowning, clowns, comedy, David Shiner, Nellie McKsy, pantomime, slapstick

Nothing "old hat" about "Old hats"

There are times when there is nothing better than to be proven wrong. Pantomime and slapstick are two genres of comedy that have always left this reviewer unimpressed.

“Old Hats,” at Signature Theatre’s new Pershing Square Signature Center,  already extended through April 14th,  is a hilarious array of vignettes which tickled every funny bone in my body.

Photo by Gregory Costanzo. Bill Irwin and David  Shiner in “Old Hats,” directed by Tina Landau
and featuring Nellie McKay.

David Shiner and Bill Irwin are the brilliant clowns and playwrights for this original theater piece. Nellie McKay contributes her skills as narrator, music director, composer, pianist, cellist and ukeleist to the entertainment. Nellie McKay sings and dances, to the able accompaniment of her band of merry men–
Alexi david on bass, Mike Dobson on percussions, Tivon Pennicott playing sax and flute, and Kenneth Salters on drums and assisting as the bartender in the “Cowboy Cinema” segment of “Old Hats.”

There is foolishness a plenty, and audience participation, in the above mentioned “Cowboy Cinema” and in the marvellous “A Magic Act,” for which Irwin gets to don a dress and show off his legs.

“Old Hats” will appeal to even the curmudgeons among us, as attested to by my delight in the program.

For more information about “Old Hats,” please  visit

Posted in clowning, comedy, juggling, pantomime, romance

Throwing her voice, or throwing apples, either way, beguiling

It’s all about love and juggling!

Perfect Catch,billed as “Throw-mantic Comedy” at Canal Park Playhouse through November 27th, follows the formula set by Hollywood for romantic comedies. Boy and girl meet, but they don’t really like each other and, then suddenly, something happens to spark an interest, and finally, they are in the throes of an endearing love.

Jen Slaw and Michael Karas are jugglers who conduct their romance in near-complete silence, except for a timeless soundtrack. The pop 40s, some of them from the 40s, include some wonderfully quirky renditions of the standards like “Mister Sandman,” “It Had to Be You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “9 to 5” and “Fernando’s Hideaway.”

The juggling umbrellas set to “Singing in the Rain” create a little peril for our lovely duo, he a little nerdy, she poised and glamorous.

Meanwhile, Nina Conti does an altogether different brand of throwing.
She is a world renowned ventriloquist enjoying her United States debut in “Nina Conti Talk to the Hand” at 59E59 Theaters in the Brits Off Broadway festivities for one week only through November 13th.

Nina Conti with her several character puppets has won awards for comedy from the BBC and the Barry Comedy Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Be warned, this is not a child-friendly show. Not that there’s anything wrong with children. You may want to keep them away from the X-rated shenanigans of Monkey. Nina Conti is attractive and charming, and has a disarming way of laughing at the jokes she is about to tell through her puppets.

For more information on “Perfect Catch” go to
For tickets for “Nina Conti Talk to the Hand” visit or