Moshe Cohen returns home again with his lyrical, insightful, and altogether mirthful clowning masterwork, Mr. YooWhos Holiday, featuring collaboration with Theater of Yugens artistic director Jubilith Moore. If you missed last years show, dont expect Cohen to stumble onstage in a loin loth and fake nose to kvell over his flock of death-defying penguin toys. Because Cohen, while blending the seemingly disparate arts of Yiddish absurdism and European buffoonery with Japanese butoh and kyogen (or mad speech), has the heart of a poet and the eye of a monk. In his hands, the absurd becomes the sacred (which seems to mean simply human): drifting plastic bags are infused with the passion of tango dancers and ersatz sunflowers become the golden key to every imaginable port of call. It looks like easy work compared to what has come before. As founding director of the Clowns Without Borders U.S.A, he led exhibitions to Guatemala, Chiapas, Nepal, Kosovo, Sudan, and Haiti, where he conjured laughter out of thin air and broken hearts. He recently resigned his post and now devotes his time to training clown doctors and teaching workshops such as Clown Your Zen in monasteries. And every now and again, when the season is right, he dusts off Mr. YooWho for a trip around the world.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 18. Continues through Jan. 3, 2009