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Feeling Gravity’s pull, Avner the Eccentric lives up to name

By Nick Dussault | 30 November 2006

If laughter really is the best medicine, Avner Eisenberg could easily cure everything that ails you. He’s a clown in the truest sense of the word. And judging by the giggles, guffaws and gushing reaction of the audience at the Lyric Stage, where Eisenberg’s currently performing “Avner the Eccentric’s Exceptions to Gravity,” everyone loves a clown. Wholesome at its best From the moment Avner takes the stage fumbling for cigarettes while performing janitorial duties, laughter ensues. After noting that there are five minutes until showtime, the Hall of Fame clown begins to do bat- tle with some of life’s simplest tasks. Watching him struggle to put on his hat, pick up his smokes and sweep the floor is absolutely delightful, wholesome family entertainment at its best. By the time the five minutes are up (he actually stretches it to 80), Avner has juggled, played baseball with an audience member, balanced ladders on his chin and employed every magic trick in the book to the delight of the crowd. And if you’re an unfortunate late arrival, he’ll single you out and give you a high-speed recap of everything you’ve missed. No more words He shares popcorn with the crowd, makes a paper bouquet and eats a dinner that’ll surely make you wonder how and why. The how of his magic is much harder to figure out than the why. Avner has a warm, fatherly smile and a glimmer in his eyes that make you feel like he’s performing especially for you. He clearly delights in what he’s doing and revels in the enthusiasm his work receives. Even the tricks that you’ve seen a hundred times before feel brand new thanks to his charm and wit. And he does all of this without uttering a single word. You’ve got to see it to believe it can be this much fun.

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