Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One Woman Show: Lisa Ramirez in Exit Cuckoo

Deep in the nooks and crannies of New York City, groundbreaking new theater is being created. Need proof? See the one-woman show Exit Cuckoo, written and performed by powerhouse Lisa Ramirez and based on her experiences as a Manhattan nanny. Her gut-wrenching, side-splitting, tragi-comic look at nannies, their employers and the children they raise will challenge your preconceived notions of the childcare-givers life.

With a quick flick of an admirably versatile hairstyle, Ramirez transforms herself from immigrant nanny to single-ma employer to frightened charge to celebrity caregiver. Anchoring it all is Ramirez herself, her struggles with her lack of maternal desire and her flamboyant, frustrated artiste of a mom. Never self-aggrandizing, never patronizing or preachy, Ramirez wows us with her versatility, spot-on depictions of diverse New York City women, and humor rooted in humanity. We laugh at the blatant truths she exposes, and what we recognize in ourselves.

Note: The influential playwright, activist and performer Eve Ensler has called Exit Cuckoo an important piece of work, and it is. It is also damn entertaining. I caught it in a one-night showing at the 14th St. Y and it has played at other theaters around, but surely there is an NYC theater available for a long-time run? Besides, I want to see it again. And take all my friends.

1 comment:

Laura Carbonell Smith said...

Hi Mary,
Lisa Ramirez's Exit Cuckoo is getting a full production! Working Theater will put up the show April 17th-May 17th at the Clurman Theater on Theatre Row (410 W 42nd Street), directed by Colman Domingo.
Full info is at www.theworkingtheater.org.
We'd love to be up on your blog!
-Laura Carbonell Smith
Working Theater