BWW Review: Nairoby Otero - A Singular Tour de Force in 'TIL SUNDAY
In her 'TIL SUNDAY, writer/performer Nairoby Otero grabs you the very first moment she hits the stage and then, after 75 minutes, ends her solo show with a wrenching punch in the gut. Otero portrays a number of characters in this one-woman tour de force revealing the story of the real-life struggles of a Cuban mother who ventures to New Orleans to provide a better life for her little girl.
With only the most essential of props (and very well-utilized at that), Otero clearly delineates her characters of: the single mother working overtime to take care of her 2-year-old daughter; the said daughter, now on the eve of her quinceañera; and their friendly neighbor graciously subbing as friend and father figure.
Otero's teenager bubbles over with infectious excitement talking to her off-stage girlfriend while practicing her make-up for her big debut.
As the noblest of mothers, Otero actually folds up a line full of laundry ever so neatly into a laundry basket while reminiscing of her husband still in Cuba awaiting his visa to come to America legally. When Otero talks on the telephone, one can easily imagine her husband talking to her, yelling at her, pleading with her.
Otero's last scene will tear you up. Realize the audience is witnessing a single actress talking into a prop phone with no one on the other end. Yet, Otero totally brings the emotions and the conflict and the drama - all by herself. Oh, wait! She does have lots of great assist from director Michael D'Angora who keeps her wide range of dramatics so, so realistic.
Even with little or no grasp of the Spanish language, one can readily get the gist of what Otero's communicating, via her raw, emotive expressions and physicality.
Can't wait to see what Otero does next!