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Juggling in Jest at Boston Museum of Science

Einstein's Gravity Rules at the Hayden Planetarium - Dan Dowling

Einstein's Gravity Rules at the Hayden Planetarium photos by Dan Dowling

I'm trying not to jingle my bells while quickly swapping my jester hat for a football helmet in the dark. The laser sky show is running up above in the Hayden Planetarium. Lights up! I'm on, dancing with the stars, barreling through space. . . oh no, right into a black hole! I'm playing Jack the juggling jester, explaining principles of gravity in Gravity Rules as part of Science Live!, the theater department of Boston's Museum of Science. I play Jack, Albert Einstein, and Sir Isaac Newton, all in accents different than my own while sporting various wigs, hats, and mustaches. This interactive show takes place in the round in the Planetarium, a delightful performance space that allows me to be close to, and in some cases sneak up on, the audience. My best audience was a room full of teenagers, not the target audience for this show. I must have made my grand entrance with just enough sass to push their "irreverent" buttons. By the time my faux reggae finale was hitting the heavens, many of the teens were out of their seats rocking out to my predictable 4/4 melody. One tall blond boy remarked, "That was the best thing I've ever seen." I was an ageless, goofy, theater hero. I suspect that may always be true of me!

Says Newton, at right, "The Apple... Science or Snack?"

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