Exit Cuckoo (nanny in motherland) is a show unlike any other. It is both comical and serious, feministic without being heavy-handed or preachy. The one woman show, written and performed by the talented Lisa Ramirez tells the story of a nanny in New York City and all of the crazy, colorful people she meets along the way. Ramirez gives voice and spirit to each character, melding effortlessly into wine-guzzling Park Avenue moms and worn down Hispanic nannies in the blink of an eye. A full range of feelings- from resentment to fond reminiscence- are showcased.
Thanks to the strong direction of Colman Domingo, Ramirez moves in bold strokes across the stage, constantly keeping the action and pace going. Subtle costume adjustments allow Ramirez to shift into different characters instantly without hindering the show. The writing here is strong and emotionally complex, and the subtle use of music to signal character changes or a shift in mood is equally well-done.
Even those viewers who are not mothers or nannies or even women will find something to enjoy here, because the show deals with issues – such as identity, fear, and attachment – that are universal. It also doesn’t hurt that Ramirez is one of those rare and fascinating performers, one of the few capable of believably pulling off a one woman show. Performed in one slow and thoughtful act, this is not a show to miss. There’s no glitz or glamour, but it’s theatre at its best and most raw.
Exit Cuckoo will run through Sunday, January 16. For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, call Playmakers Repertory Company at (919)962-7329 or visit their website at http://www.playmakersrep.org.