Weve always felt surrounded by clowns, but when the passel of pierrots includes Keith Hennessy, its a rarefied moment. Unfortunately for the red-nosed and gunboat-shoed birthday clown with half an eye on an art career, Hennessy has made clowning and circus arts an exalted medium for intelligent, exhilarating exploration of political material, ranging from HIV to war to injustice. Delinquent, Hennessys newest performance, tackles the Bay Area juvenile criminal justice system using circus art-trained youth from within the system, aerial architecture by Ryon Gesnick, and murals by Rigo 23. If youre out to feel something, this is your joint. Hennessy consistently crafts works whose politics and aesthetic beauty co-exist so harmoniously theyre capable of informing rather than overwhelming your consciousness; the impossibly bending and sliding bodies of Hennessy and his acrobats educate and charm. So, to the curly redhead crafting a wiener dog out of balloons: Time to step up your game.
Nov. 13-15, 8 p.m., 2008