Israeli mime's American debut
Eno Eno Rosenn in pantomime sketches written by Daniel Lappin and Mr. Rosenn. ``Eno'' is the one-word title for a one-man show involving a lively collection of characters, creatures, combustion engines, and animated objects. Eno Rosenn, the British-born Israeli mime, makes his American debut at the Cherry Lane Theatre in a versatile demonstration of the art of movement and gesture. With a score by Nir Brandt and a symphony of sound effects by Stan Mark, Mr. Rosenn observes typical aspects of the human adventure, from before the cradle to a moment beyond the grave.
The Eno view of life begins with ``Baby in the Tummy,'' during which a forthcoming little stranger responds with varying degrees of curiosity and apprehension to the noisy world he is destined to enter. The remainder of the program explores the nature of the world itself. Touched on among the varieties of familiar experience are such phenomena as supermarkets and communications (from old-fashioned typewriter to ominous word processor).
``The Private Detective'' casts Eno as all the characters in a preposterous whodunit, the solution to which leaves the stage strewn with invisible bodies. Here, as in sketches dedicated respectively to the automobile and the motorcycle, Eno calls on audience volunteers to expand his act. Backstage, Mr. Mark gears his synthesizer and recordings to provide highly realistic sound effects while Mr. Brandt's score sounds the musical themes.
Eno shifts to a serious vein in ``Bird and Hunter'' and ``The Rat Race.'' In the former, one of the most poignant of the pieces, the artist's extraordinary physical control is demonstrated in the grace of arm and body movements suggesting a bird in flight. The latter condenses the tensions of the contemporary success drive in a fast-stepping display of physical energy that almost destroys the runner - at the same time offering an idyllic glimpse of a celestial afterlife celebrated by heavenly choirs.
Pieces like ``The Diet'' and the filmed ``Hidden Camera'' are visual jokes that sometimes tend to overextend. But they are all part of an entertainment animated by an exceptionally skilled performer who is engagingly humorous rather than mordantly satiric. The proceedings are visually enhanced by Yael Pardes's costumes and by Zeev Navon's highly effective lighting. Eno is a likable internationalist, and the Cherry Lane audience gave him a warm welcome.