Last year, Jeff Raz took a year-long sabbatical from the Clown Conservatory, which he founded, to play the central role in Cirque du Soleil's Corteo. In the show, the clown imagines his funeral procession as a lyrical pageant attended by riotous acrobats and winsome angels. It wasnt farfetched, given Raz rich and colorful 30-year career. By conjuring delight out of human fragility, hes earned a following from the isolated villages of Alaska to footlights of Broadway. This months "Clown Cabaret" marks his first local stage appearance since Corteo, and, of course, hell be hilarious company. Paoli Lacy, who teaches clown therapy at the Conservatory, directs the monthly hothouse of pratfalls, greasepaint, and glee, which, as always, includes some polished routines by the physical comedians of Pi, as well as some material in development by other clowns about town. Even before their absurdist send-up of Bush and Cheney in November, "Clown Cabaret" was selling out the house, so arrive early if you want to catch Raz before Corteo takes him to Japan this summer.
Mon., Jan. 5, 8 & 10 p.m., 2009