Stage and Cinema film and theatre reviews
 

 

NANNIES A’PLENTY

 

picture - Exit CuckooTheater Review

by Chad Menville

published August 1, 2008

 

Exit Cuckoo

now playing Off Broadway through August 9

at TBG Arts Center

(312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor; tickets at Ticket Central)

 

Written by and starring Lisa Ramirez, this one-woman show unveils assorted tacit issues concerning the hidden world of nannies, and how intimate yet distanced their social climate can be. Directly inspired by her first-hand experiences as a Manhattan nanny while supporting her acting career, Ramirez has gathered ample material from which to draw. Her acute observations are various and eye opening.    

 

The show's key metaphor is the cuckoo bird that leaves its egg in another's nest, thereby tricking the host bird into assuming responsibility for the hatchling as one of its own. As a performer, Ramirez is a shape shifter. We see her as an employee of a child care staffing office, a Latina nanny in a park, an overmedicated mother, an Irish fill-in nanny, and more. This play gives voice to the overlooked caregivers for hire, and relates it with warmth and humor.      

 

As part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Exit Cuckoo is an ambitious, diversified and worthwhile contender for a future commercial run.  I recommend the journey it takes the audience on with one reservation:  at 90 minutes and with no intermission, it could stand to be whittled down a bit. Translation - you're going to require a triple espresso to provide enough fuel to make it through the final third.

 

chadmenville @ stageandcinema.com

 

 
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