He's All Mime

Words aren't part of Maine comedian's vocabulary.

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A rainy day in the mid-'60s changed the course of Avner the Eccentric's life. While studying chemistry and biology at the University of Washington, he ducked into a theater to avoid the deluge. "I got a part in the play," says Avner, who's in town tonight to perform his Exceptions to Gravity pantomime show at Playhouse Square. "It was a slippery slope after that."After graduating with a theater degree, he studied in Paris for two years under mime Jacques Lecoq. Avner's been performing wordless comedy ever since. "It's a theater of predicament," he says. "Things keep going wrong, but you find ingenious ways of getting out of them, all without words."With a home base in Maine, the Jewel of the Nile star shuns the Hollywood lights, even though his agent constantly badgers him to move west. "Why? So I can hit it big and retire to an island in Maine? I'm already there!" says Avner. "The fame part holds very little allure. When the work is interesting is when I love to do it." Avner the Eccentric goes on at 7:30 tonight at the Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $22. Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org.
Sat., Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2008
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