Avner Eisenberg claims, with tongue characteristically in cheek, to have been “the first American middle-class street juggler.” Juggling is just one of his many talents; mime-clown-acrobat Avner does sleight-of-hand tricks, balances heavy ladders and nearly weightless peacock feathers on his chin, swallows chair legs, walks a tightrope, and turns everyday acts (walking, picking up and carrying objects, putting on his hat) into marvelously funny little absurdist ballets. His wryly hip demeanor suggests that it’s all a put-on, but his finely honed agility proves otherwise: this is the real goods, a master clown whose show is perfect for adults and kids alike. Avner’s roots as a street entertainer are delightfully evident in his interaction with the viewers; with an attitude that’s mischievous, bold, even slightly arrogant, he employs far more audience participation than the usual stage performer–which makes each show in his current engagement as part of the Goodman Theatre’s “Solo in the Studio” series a genuinely new and unique event. Goodman Theatre Studio, through February 28. Friday-Sunday, 8 PM; matinee Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 PM. $15.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Simo Neri.